Words for the Wise

November 11, 2014 in Foodland, General, Weight Management by Joyce Bunderson

It seems to me that the number of reasons to eat out escalates during the fall. Part of it might be that the holiday season is approaching and that intensifies the number of requirements upon our time. For whatever reason, the fact is that we America are struggling with an epidemic of overweight and obesity and restaurant food is often a culprit in that regard. Many restaurant meals provide way too much fat, salt and carbohydrates. This, of course, leads not only to overweight, but the resulting Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

I was recently reading an article written by Ronda Elsenbrook who scoured the menus of chain restaurants for adjectives describing which food are the biggest calorie bombs and which words are more likely to describe foods that support your goal of healthful eating.

When foods are fried, they don’t always say ‘fried;’ the code words that she discovered for ‘fried’ included: “Crunchy, tempura, battered, crispy, breaded, crusted, golden, and sizzling.” She reminds her readers that some fried foods are doubly terrible, because they are coated in batter before frying. Of course, that not only adds additional carbohydrates, but the batter soaks up considerably more fat during the frying process.

Read her article if you have a chance, as she includes great illustrations for reasons not to order fried foods; (in essence the load of trans fat and the considerable increase in calories).

Elsenbrook’s code words for restaurant items that are high in sugar are: “teriyaki, BBQ, glazed, sticky, and honey-dipped.” In addition, she encourages the reader to ask about sweeteners in salad dressings and sauces. If you’ve ever made homemade BBQ sauce, you know that it’s loaded with sugar.

Her code words for high-calorie foods are: “Loaded, stuffed, creamy, cheesy, gooey, smothered, melted, rich, and velvety.

The best little list that Elsenbrook published is the healthier options list; they include: “roasted, baked, braised, broiled, poached, rubbed, seared, grilled, steamed, sautéed, spiced, and seasoned. Because restaurants are often still trying to impress customers with their colossal serving portions; you still need to be aware of healthy foods that are enough for 2 o 3 meals.

Having a little card with the ‘code words’ or just having them in mind may save you from hundreds of unwanted surplus calories.