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maria MARBALLI

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TUESDAY September 30, 2008

Not always safe with salads

Nutrition facts: what chain restaurants do not want people to know
spotlight editor

I

t has taken years for restaurant chains to reveal the nutrition facts of their meals. The country has pushed and pushed for the answers, and restaurants finally gave in. “It is the law now that all restaurants have to have nutrition facts available to all customers,” said Ashley Locke, 10. Why was it so hard for restaurant owners to admit their facts? It is simple. The numbers are way bigger than what people would expect- especially for salads. Far too often, customers who are looking to cut calories order salads in order to make the healthy choice. This is not always the “healthy” choice. The American public is led to believe that salads are always healthy but one must think about all the other ingredients that the restaurants are adding. It can make a 100 calorie salad go to 1000 calories with one dump of extra ingredients. A number of restaurants boast “healthy” food options that in fact quite the opposite. For example, Don Pablos’s Caesar Steak Salad has 222 percent of the daily value of fat people are supposed to have in one day. “Those numbers are ridiculous. That is like suicide on a plate,” said Aamna Dosani, 10. Although chain restaurants such as McDonalds have gotten better about improving their nutrition, others are still struggling and adding huge amounts of fat in their salads. Applebees’s numbers are also shocking. The amount of saturated fat in their salads gets up to about 70 percent of the suggested daily value. In fact, some states are thinking about banning saturated fat in public restaurants because of how damaging it is for one’s body. “I think that they should make it illegal in Ohio too because restaurants are really overdoing it,” said Serina Saleh, 9. Although the numbers are so large for some meals, there are always other options for salads as shown in the chart below. It is also helpful to ask for dressing on the side so that one can put a reasonable amount of dressing on their salad rather than the amounts that restaurants put- which adds a lot of fat and calories. Not all salads are bad, of course; however, one should not fall under the mistake that just because a dish has vegetables as a component, the item is completely healthy.

photo by maria marballi

THIS FRESH BOWL of salad may seem apetizing to anyone looking to cut calories. But, unfortunatley, restaurants take this bowl of salad and add their ingredients that can triple the calories and fat content of a simple salad.

Chilis Bar and Grill Caesar Salad with Lime Grilled Shrimp Applebees Grilled Steak Salad Don Pablos Caesar Steak Salad Macaroni Grill Seared Sea Scallops Salad Bob Evan’s Farm Fresh Cranberry Pecan Chicken with sweet Italian dressing

What you eat

What it contains
980 Calories 77 Grams of fat

How to work it off

Better option

270 minutes of walking or Chilis Dinner House Salad with dressing on the side 111 minutes of jogging

1191 Calories 75.5 Grams of fat

328 minutes of walking or 135 minutes jogging

Applebees Low Fat Asian Chicken Salad Side Salad with cheese, tomatoes, and tortilla strips Macaroni Grill Garden Della Casa Bob Evan’s Savor-size Heritage Chef Salad

1792 Calories 144 Grams of fat

493 minutes walking of or 204 minutes of jogging

1320 Calories 91 Grams of fat

363 minutes of walking or 150 minutes of jogging

1142 Calories 64 Grams of fat

314 minutes of walking or 130 minutes of jogging


				
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