Nutrition and Labeling - Enlightening look at restaurant nutritional info




carter
10-01-2010, 12:44 AM
My group at work is headed to a national chain Chinese restaurant for lunch tomorrow, P.F. Chang's. I have never been there (when it comes to ethnic foods I tend to head more for interesting hole-in-the-wall places than big chains) but I figured since it's a chain their nutrition info would be on line.

It is, and it's very thorough, helpful, and informative.

Particularly enlightening is that it tells you not only how many calories are in each serving of a dish, but also - how many servings are in the dish they bring you. Just about every dish is two or even three servings.

It's of course not news that the portion you get in a restaurant is much more than one serving, but I found it enlightening to see it there in black-and-white. For example, some of the "lunch bowls" seem like reasonable choices - if I eat half of what they serve.

I haven't decided yet what I'll order, but there are enough options that I'll be able to choose something that suits the needs of my plan. I may have to ask for a take-out container at the beginning of the meal, and put half of it away before I start eating! :p

Here it is, if you're interested:
http://www.pfchangs.com/menu/NutritionalInfo.aspx


Rosinante
10-01-2010, 03:18 AM
That sounds really helpful! Strangely, just the other night I was longing for some Chinese but there's nowhere around that publishes its nutritional info, so it wasn't worth it to me to guess. Send PFChangs to England!!!!!

4star
10-01-2010, 09:10 AM
Awesome! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I smelled some shrimp lo mein while I was out yesterday and immediately thought it was 1000s of calories. Now I know it's not at PFChangs! I have heard they are great and now I know I can eat there and stay on plan. Whohoo! :carrot:


carter
10-01-2010, 12:22 PM
Awesome! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I smelled some shrimp lo mein while I was out yesterday and immediately thought it was 1000s of calories. Now I know it's not at PFChangs! I have heard they are great and now I know I can eat there and stay on plan. Whohoo! :carrot:

Yes, the menu was both encouraging and thought-provoking for me - lots of the dishes are surprisingly reasonable, provided you pay attention to the number of servings per dish. For the shrimp lo mein, for example, it reports 227 calories, but also says there are three servings per dish. Now lots of us can readily fit a 690-calorie meal into our plans - but it has to be done with some awareness. It wouldn't be too difficult, especially at lunch, to eat half of that dish and put the other half away for another day.

Also, for folks who are watching their sodium, that 1/3 of a dish of lo mein carries more than 1,000 mg of sodium! Again, not surprising, but still thought-provoking to see in black and white.

Leonor
10-07-2010, 09:34 PM
I know...at least they have the info on-line, but the way it is, not many people really need a 1400 calorie dinner/lunch. That's more than I eat all day while losing weight !

Guess I won't be eating much, even salads have too many calories.

RoseRodent
11-23-2010, 06:45 AM
I finally found the nutrition info for the restaurant my mum took me to last week. I thought I picked the best thing on the menu with a grilled chicken breast (which turned out instead to be griddled in oil, not grilled) and avoided all the red meat pies and mashed potato, only to find my "grilled" chicken breast total meal came in at 1007 cals and I could have had the lamb and mash for 690. You just never can guess what they put in these things. They do a side dish at 620, an appetiser for 582. If you went in and happened to choose the most calorie-laden stuff on the menu for 3 courses with a side (excluding any drink calories) that would be 3,997. Light by some US standards it seems (2,000 cals packed in a pancake breakfast!) but even as a rare treat nobody needs nearly 4,000 calories at one sitting.

annieoh
11-23-2010, 07:43 AM
Thanks for the pointer to PF Chang's nutritional information. We'll be going over the holiday season with my folks. We've always ordered two fewer dishes than we have people, as the food is served family-style and that made sense to us. It'll be nice to have a plan to making it work "on plan" the next time we go!

BillBlueEyes
11-23-2010, 08:33 AM
Good grief!

A bowl (34 ozs.) of Hot and Sour Soup contains nearly 5000 mg of sodium (4857)! That's more than three days worth for folks striving for 1500 mg per day.

silverbirch
11-23-2010, 08:58 AM
I didn't know any UK places published that info, Rose. Would you mind saying where it was?

RoseRodent
11-23-2010, 09:36 AM
I didn't know any UK places published that info, Rose. Would you mind saying where it was?

Brewers' Fayre chain. They seem to pick and choose which of their dishes appear on the nutrition information and there is no breakdown to the components of the dish so you don't know what switches to make or what to ask them not to bring to reduce the calorie load. I asked them for it and they said they didn't have any at the restaurant itself, but I searched online under "brewers fayre nutrition information" and got a pdf. I think if you search really hard you can find some of these things but they certainly don't help you. It's not like you can walk in and say can I have a menu and a nutrition information sheet please, and it should be like that.