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The Hidden Fat in "Healthier" Dishes
writes, "Are you like most and enjoy going out to eat? The kids and I seem to make it a ritual at least once a week. However if you are a traveler, single, or you and your spouse don't cook much at home anymore and you eat out several times a week you may be surprised how much you are actually digesting."
The Center for Public Interest study found that the typical appetizer, entree and dessert at a restaurant has 1,000 calories Ė that is each, not a total for the entire meal. Still, Is it possible to eat healthy or even slim down while dining out? Here are a few tips that may help you when ordering off the menu:

Shocker #1 Steamed veggies are high in fat?
Fat is what sells food in restaurants. Every order of spinach made gets about 2 ounces of butter in most restaurants. That's 4 tablespoons, which adds 45 grams of fat (32 grams saturated) and 400 calories to a single side dish. If you want to eat out and still lose weight, you need to be a forensic diner: Ask a lot of questions and make a lot of requests. Grilled veggies don't fare any better. They either get an oil-based marinade or are brushed with oil before grilling and re-brushed on the plate so they look prettier. Savvy-Diner Strategy: Order your veggies steamed or grilled and make clear to your server that you want no butter or oil added at any stage of preparation.

Shocker #2 Are egg-white omelets better?
If you've been to a fancy buffet brunch with an omelet bar, you've seen the chef generously ladle a clear liquid into the pan before making your mushroom-and-spinach favorite. The liquid is fat and the ladle holds at least 2 tablespoons. That's 22 grams of fat (16 grams saturated) and 200 calories added to an otherwise healthful dish. Savvy-Diner Strategy: Ask for your eggs to be prepared without butter or any other kind of fat. Let your server know that you're aware the dish may not look as attractive as one that's been fried.

Shocker #3 What if I order "plain" toasted buns?
That toast is covered in butter (or worse). Butter or other fat is added to bread a lot more often than you know. It's common to slap sandwich buns with some form of grease to keep them from sticking to the flattop grill. You may think you're having a plain grilled chicken sandwich, but there's a good chance those wheat buns were smeared with margarine before being toasted, giving them that pretty golden color on the outside. This adds 5.5 fat grams (4 grams saturated) and 50 calories. Savvy-Diner Strategy: Ask that your bun or bread be toasted "dry."

The safe bet here is to ask for what you want and how you want it prepared. When your food does arrive, donít hesitate to send the plate back if you find it prepared otherwise.


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