Americans love to eat out. In fact, a survey by Mandala Research found the average American adult eats a meal away from home 4.8 times per week, with lunch being the most common one. Whether you dine out more or less than the average, the question to keep in mind is, “How do you know how much added sugar is in the foods you buy in restaurants (especially the beverages)?” Today Andrea sheds some light on how to eat out, and still remain on track for your Sugar Reset Challenge.
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~ The Barbara’s Team
Gathering information about the amount of sugar in restaurant foods can be challenging and often times isn’t available. However, it is possible to get nutritional information from certain restaurant chains (in-store when requested, and on their websites), so we can get an idea of where sugar is hiding.
When eating out, I encourage you apply what you have learned so far about which types of foods are likely to contain greater amounts of added sugar, and steer clear of those choices. For example, you may want to ask for a burger without BBQ sauce or ketchup (top it with mustard instead), and opt for protein dishes that aren’t heavy on the sauces, like roast chicken, grilled fish, tempeh or tofu. Start your meal with a mixed green salad and dress it with olive oil and lemon juice (most restaurants, even fast food chains, can provide this on the side), or a vegetable soup rather than tomato. For dessert, ask for fresh fruit instead of fruit salad, or enjoy a cup of mint tea. These tips will help you avoid hidden sugars and help you remain within the limit of 50 grams or less of added sugar daily.
Here are a few examples of popular dishes from national restaurant chains you should steer clear of:
- Chicken Tenders Platter, 19 g
- Instead opt for the Fiesta Lime Chicken, 7 g
- Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad, 64 g
- Instead opt for the House Salad, 4 g with the Lemon Olive Oil Vinaigrette, 1 g
- Churro S’mores, 70 g
- Instead opt for the Chips & Salsa, 5 g
- Clubhouse Grille, 31 g
- Instead opt for the Chicken Fajita Rollup, 10 g
- Apple Crunch Muffin, 49 g
- Instead opt for the Power Almond Quinoa Oatmeal, 7 g
- Pecan Roll, 50 g
- Instead opt for a whole grain or sesame bagel, 3 g
- Roasted Turkey, Apple & Cheddar Sandwich, 16 g
- Instead opt for a Roasted Turkey with Caramelized Kale Panini, 2 g
- Signature Hot Chocolate, 62 g
- Instead opt for a hot tea, 0 g
- Chocolate McCafe Shake, small, 77 g
- Frozen Strawberry Lemonade, X-large, 105 g
- Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, 32 g
- McCafe Mocha, 42 g
- Iced Espresso Classic Caffe Mocha, 8 oz, 21 g
- Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, 16 oz, 64 g
- Tazo Bottled Lemon Ginger, 13.8 oz, 30 g
- Instead opt for Teavana Shaken Teas, all varieties, 0 g
- Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers Beverage, 16 oz, 15 g
- 6” Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sub, 16 g
- Apple Pie, 25 g
- FUZE Brewed Green Tea Sweet, 36 g
- Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Salad, 22 g
It is possible to keep your sugar intake in check when you eat out. Remember to avoid the types of foods that are most likely to have a significant amount of added sugar, and check out the restaurant’s menu online if it is available.
Andrea Donsky, B. COMM, is an Author, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.), Editor-in-Chief, and Founder of NaturallySavvy.com. Her passion is to inspire people to make enlightened choices for healthy living. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an entrepreneur to educate the public on living an organic and non-GMO lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, videos, speeches, and media appearances.