Calorie Counts on Menus Don’t Tell All: Tips for Making Healthier Choices

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You may have noticed that restaurants and food-service establishments across the Nation are beginning to include calorie counts on their menu items. In fact, this trend is becoming part of a Nationwide health effort to make consumers more aware of the foods they’re eating away from home. And, as you’ve also probably noted, the busy lifestyle of most Americans makes eating out increasingly popular.

Although the movement toward including calorie counts on menu items has good intentions, this kind of labeling tends to fall short in a few areas. When browsing a menu to determine a healthy and nutritious meal to order, there’s a good chance that calorie labels won’t tell you everything you need to know. The pitfalls of these labels on restaurant menus hardly make it easier to choose the best food option, so we’ve provided some tips below for making the most informed and healthiest choices!

Tips for Making the Calorie Count Work for YOU:

  • Pay attention to the “calorie range” – many menus give food items a “calorie range” when they offer a customizable dish or combo that you can build. For example, a pasta dish might list the calories as ranging from 600-900. If you order a small plate of pasta and some salad, you may be eating close to 600 calories. But, if you order the same plate of pasta with bread and butter, the amount of calories you’re consuming may be closer to 900. To make the most of the calorie range provided, be mindful about portion sizes and the specific foods you are ordering.
  • Consider the promotional offers – It is common for restaurants to upsell their food items by offering value meals and special discounts. If you’re not careful, these promotional offers can get the best of you! Oftentimes, these deals lead to extra portions and unnecessary calories.
  • Ask for more than calorie counts – The amount of calories you’re consuming isn’t the only important thing to know about your food! Consider asking about portion recommendations, sodium content, fat content and other ingredients you would normally see on a standard nutrition label. Also consider how the food was prepared, such as the use of butter or oil in a dish. If you’d like, you can ask for your food to be prepared without these ingredients.
  • Look for the “invisible” calories – Additional items and ingredients in your food, such as special dressings, sauces, cheese and condiments, might not be included in your menu’s calorie count. Take these additives into consideration and, as much as possible, remember to stay light and lean with these “extras.”

Want more information on restaurant menus and how you can make healthier decisions? You can read the full article from Your Weight Matters Magazine by CLICKING HERE !

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One thought on “Calorie Counts on Menus Don’t Tell All: Tips for Making Healthier Choices

  1. thats a great article. it is quite impressive . Calorie Counting is a part to eat and to live healthier but you people introduce a good way for it

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