Thursday, 31 May 2012

Since when did a salad become worse than a burger?

Many of you have already seen my post about proper gym etiquette, now it’s time for me to get another pet peeve off my chest, restaurants that take healthy items and turn them into unhealthy disasters. I HATE this, you are out at a restaurant, trying to make wise choices, and the restaurant has converted what should normally be a very healthy choice into a trans-fat, sodium explosion, additive insanity, sugar laden alternative. Here are a few examples below of traps you need to be on the look out for when scanning the menu

1.     Salad- You’re at a fast food joint and you pick the salad because you think it’s healthier than the burger, WRONG!! Crumbled bacon bits, sugar coated candied nuts, excessive cheese, tortilla strips, fried chicken, fatty croutons and creamy dressings full of trans-fat and questionable preservatives can mean the salad ends up being a worse option than a plain single serving hamburger.  Prime example, Wendy’s Baja Salad with Jalapeño dressing= 720 calories, 17g saturated fat, Wendy’s ¼lb. single with cheese and condiments= 590 calories, 14g. saturated fat.
-       Look for salad that have spinach, arugula or mixed greens as a base instead of iceberg or romaine, these greens offer a lot more nutrients
-       If the salad has bacon, croutons or tortilla strips, ask for extra veggies on top instead
-       Chose grilled chicken, lean steak strips, egg or grilled shrimp over fried chicken as a protein
-       Instead of candied nuts, ask for plain toasted nuts instead
-       Ask the server for dressing on the side (so you can control the amount you put on) and vinaigrettes are generally better options than creamy dressings

2.     Sushi- when the sushi craze began, simple offering such as California rolls, salmon rolls and vegetable rolls were all great options for a healthy and light meal. And then, we decided to “westernize” and in my opinion, mass destruct this Japanese delicacy. Tempura this, Tempura bits that, huge globs of spicy sauce (aka mayo and chili paste), and other ingredients has made this item a calorie laden bombshell. Here are some betters options to stick with
-Avoid anything tempura, sorry I probably just pissed off a lot of people but I mean it, this is nothing but added ,empty carbohydrates and ruins the fresh taste of sushi fish
-If you simply can’t give up that spicy sauce, ask for it on the side so that you can control how much you are putting on your rolls
- Don’t order rolls with cream cheese, I’m pretty sure this ingredient is never used in Japan
- The best choices include: California rolls, rainbow rolls, plain fish rolls (salmon, tuna hamachi etc) and sashimi, futomaki, vegetable rolls (not the tempura kind), and bbq eel rolls
-Ask for brown rice rolls if possible 

3.     Fruit Smoothies- It seems like every fast-food joint these days is offering up their version of a fruit smoothie.  In reality, most are them are no better than a corner store slushy, full of processed empty sugar calories and very little nutrients. Because they use pureed juice/ fruit juice and not real fruit like they claim, these restaurants have stripped away anything good that was in the fruit. Whenever I see that McDonald’s commercial where the guy reaches down for the smoothie on the bench I wanna scream “NO….STOP!! You were better off eating that whole mango, what are you doing!?!?!”
-A medium fruit smoothie at Tim Horton’s has 43g of sugar, 0g of fibre and 0% daily intake vitamin C. (For comparison, a double chocolate donut has only 16g of sugar)
-Instead, try packing an actual piece of fruit (who’d ever though of that?!!?) in the car and buy an unsweetened iced coffee or tea as a refreshing cool treat on those hot summer days
-If you must have your smoothie fix, I recommend the Vivanno smoothies at Starbucks; each contains a whole banana and lots of protein (~17g) and fiber (~6g) to keep you feeling full. Ask for non-fat milk is watching calories or soymilk if dairy free ***if you use a registered card, they won’t charge you extra for soy! 

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