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Avoid the Restaurant Menu’s Hidden Calories

by Rosanne Ullman | October 23, 2015
 Apeloga for Getty Images
Apeloga for Getty Images

One reason restaurant food tastes so good is what you don’t see on the menu: how they cook it. Hidden butter, shortening and sugar are ingredients you can control at home but not as easily when you’re ordering off a menu. And then there’s portion control!

 

Author and Reader’s Digest Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello has some tips for specific dishes at some popular restaurants, which may be offering less caloric options that you’re overlooking. In her new book, Stop & Drop Diet, Vaccariello “names names”:

 

  • Replace Jimmy Dean Delights Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit Sandwich (410 calories) with Jimmy Dean Delights Bacon, Egg & Cheese Honey Wheat Flatbread (230 calories). “You still get your protein from your eggs, but the flatbread provides a healthier, lower-calorie option to keep you going through the morning,” Vaccariello says.
  • Replace Outback Steakhouse’s 8-ounce Herb-Roasted Prime Rib (704 calories, 57g fat) with the restaurant’s 6-ounce Special Sirloin (254 calories 13g fat). 
  • Replace the Bonefish Grill Spicy Tuna Bowl (841 calories, 24g fat) with the Bonefish Grill Ahi Tuna Steak (304 calories, 14g fat). “By switching from the bowl to the steak, you’ll still get your fill of tuna, but without the added calories and fat,” Vaccariello notes.
  • Replace Olive Garden’s Black Tie Mousse Cake (770 calories, 52g fat) with the Chocolate Mousse Dolcini (290 calories 21g fat). You just want something sweet and will not miss the nearly 500 calories!
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