Do you know how many calories you consumed on your Mother’s Day celebration when you decided to indulge and eat a piece of Tiramisu at your favorite Italian restaurant?
Calorie labeling on restaurant menus has been in the limelight lately. Last week I read two interesting articles. A Tufts University study found that 80 percent of the tested restaurant foods landed within 100 calories of the posted nutritional information, while nineteen percent had at least 100 more calories than the restaurants claimed. The National Restaurant Association indicated that based on the methodology utilized by the researchers, when it comes to menu nutritionals, variances will occur. Another study published by the Journal of Community Health implied that after reviewing 31 studies published between January 2007 and July 2013, calorie labeling alone was not a driving force in changing consumer eating behavior. Again, the researchers questioned the inconsistent methodology that was utilized by all the different studies.
When you eat at a restaurant do you count your calories or better yet, study the posted nutritional information to make choices? Do you pass on alcoholic libations, leave the bread in the basket, skip the sodium laden soup du jour, etc., before you even get to your entrée. Do you order from the special “light” or “lower calorie” menus that are usually 600 calories or less? Or do you exhibit enough control after a two glasses of wine (200 calories thanks to limited pours), a shared order of fried calamari with marinara sauce (470 calories), one artisan roll dipped in olive oil (calories TBD) and a chicken dish off the “light” menu with a side of grilled vegetables (550 calories), that you actually cut the waiter off when he or she inquires “could I interest you in some dessert tonight”, thus reply “no thank you, check please.” Congratulations! You just bought your meal in for an estimated 1,400 calories (+/-) because you ordered off the “light” menu and passed over the house specialty, a slice of Tiramisu – lady fingers soaked in espresso, layered with a blend of mascarpone cheese and whipped egg whites/yolks plus sugar (600 calories for a small piece).
Do you have a calorie countdown app?