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SHOCKING FACTS about the HEALTHY MENU at leading RESTAURANTS!!!

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Old 01-21-2011, 09:20 AM   #1
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Exclamation SHOCKING FACTS about the HEALTHY MENU at leading RESTAURANTS!!!

Ever wonder how "healthy" the healthy menu items are from your favorite restaurants? Well...here's the skinny on a few of them. The following are 13 of the top rated HEALTHY menu items from the nation's largest food chains. While the calories may be low, I was SHOCKED to find out the OUTRAGEOUS sodium counts. What this leads me to believe (as always), is that quality herbs/spices in these foods are lacking (ergo, the need for excess sodium).

Yet another reason to eat at home!

Ok...here they go, from worse to best:

1. Chili's - Classic Sirloin Dinner: 370 cals. - 3,680mg sodium
2. Applebees - Grilled Shrimp & Island Rice: 360 cals. - 2,290mg sodium
3. Red Lobster - Garlic Grilled Jumbo Shrimp - 370 cals. - 2,160mg sodium
4. Longhorn Steakhouse - Red Rock Shrimp w/Asparagus & Salad: 320 cals. - 1,945mg sodium
5. Applebees - Asiago Peppercorn Salad - 390 cals. - 1,520mg sodium
6. Romano's Macaroni Grill - Pan-seared Snapper "Acqua Pazza" - 400 cals. - 1,420mg sodium
7. Olive Garden - Venetian Apricot Chicken - 380 cals. - 1,420mg sodium
8. Romano's Macaroni Grill - Jumbo Shrimp Rosemary Spiedini - 320 cals. - 1,380mg sodium
9. Romano's Macaroni Grill - Capellini Pomodoro - 490 cals. - 960mg sodium
10. Outback Steakhouse - Grilled Chicken on the Barbie & Veggies - 520 cals. - 677mg sodium
11. Bob Evans - Grilled Chicken Breast w/baked potato & brocolli - 386 cals. - 608mg sodium
12. Bob Evans - Potato Crusted Flouder w/Baked Potato & Brocolli - 415 cals - 527mg sodium
13. Bob Evans - Chicken, spinach & tomato pasta - 354 cals. - 439mg sodium


THE WINNER for overall low calorie/controlled sodium entrees are:

1st place - BOB EVANS
2nd place - OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE
3rd place - sorry...but there is no 3rd place winner, the others were deplorable in my honest opinion
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Last edited by joyfulloser : 01-21-2011 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:24 AM   #2
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thanks for the info..its not really all that shocking to me though, i kinda figured the healthy stuff really isnt that healthy...like you said its best to stay home and eat-i feel like i cook better food anyway
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:36 AM   #3
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Not surprised at all, their goal is to make the food taste good not healthy and salt enhance flavor. The good thing for me I do not eat at any of those restaurants LOL
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #4
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OMG, that is INSANE! I think the restaurants should be REQUIRED to print that information on their menus...
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #5
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Yeah, I'm really not shocked at all. It just kinda is what it is and something we have to accept if we choose to eat out.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #6
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I swear what is it with restaurants and salt. I am guessing these numbers are higher anyways because how many cooks add an EXTRA dash of salt here or there?
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I swear what is it with restaurants and salt. I am guessing these numbers are higher anyways because how many cooks add an EXTRA dash of salt here or there?
GOOD POINT!!! They always have extra salt and pepper on the table...not to mention catsup, parmasian cheese (Olive Garden), etc. GROSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:54 PM   #8
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Maybe that is why I thought Bob Evans was gross the one time I went

I'm not surprised although I'm not concerned about sodium personally and accept that I'll be eating higher amounts of sodium when eating out. I am sure they define 'healthy' as lower calorie, not lower sodium.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:23 PM   #9
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Is that from one of Dave Z's articles? It looks very familiar.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I swear what is it with restaurants and salt. I am guessing these numbers are higher anyways because how many cooks add an EXTRA dash of salt here or there?
It's not salt, it's sodium. They need it in the foods to keep them fresh long enough to use them before spoilage sets in. Most restaurants buy their meat frozen and that immediately will up the sodium count. Sodium is not the same as the taste of salt.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:30 PM   #11
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Yeah I am not really that surprise. I think when you eat out you have to accept that even the healthy options aren't that great. Whenever I go out I don't expect to be eating the same as at home because you can only control what you are eating if you know exactly is going into it.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:09 PM   #12
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Ya...sure, we all know when we eat out, we're NOT getting the finest of ingredients put into our food and also that it will probably be higher in sodium than normal...BUT...a big BUTT (lol) 3,680mgs in one steak dish???

Is there anyone else that finds this figure AMAZING? I honestly had NO IDEA that this amount of salt and better is incorporated into restaurant food. I'd hate to see what they put in the "not so healthy" menu!
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:26 PM   #13
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@Jesse: Table salt is sodium chloride. When nutrition data refer to "sodium content", they mean salt. Sodium by itself is a soft alkali metal that oxidizes quickly at room temperature and reacts explosively with water so uh...you wouldn't want to eat it. When an element is ionized (loses or gains electrons) and then reacts chemically with other ions, the chemical properties of the resulting molecule can be radically different than its constituent atoms. So, you can eat sodium chloride because the sodium ion (Na+) is essential to many biological functions, and behaves differently than elemental sodium. It's never too late for a chemistry lesson.

Also, as a scientist, I find no conclusive evidence that a few grams of salt is harmful to your body, even in cases where people have high blood pressure. Now, you don't want to eat a pound of it (the dose makes the poison), but dang you guys salt makes things taste good. If salt makes a less-tasty but nutritious food taste better, then the (perceived or real) harm of sodium is mitigated by the health benefits you reap from improved nutrition.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:32 PM   #14
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Addendum: Salt does have a preservative quality, hence we have "cured meats" and such that sailors would take on long voyages before refrigeration was possible. I like to eat my food preserved rather than spoiled, so add that to the list of "in defense of salt".
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:05 PM   #15
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@Jesse: Table salt is sodium chloride. When nutrition data refer to "sodium content", they mean salt.
Science too much for me. I basically meant that restaurants weren't adding salt that it was how the meat came before they even got ahold of it (in reference to the "pinch of salt" comment). This comes from going to culinary school where sodium was sodium and salt water preservatives were "sodium".
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