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  • What Nutritionists Order When Eating Out

    Posted on Jul 28th 2011 11:00AM by Emma Gray

    A new study has found that only 1 out of 6 diners pay attention to posted nutrition information on menus — and while some is better than none, the reality is that the each meal eaten outside of the home tacks on an average of 134 calories to your day.

    What’s worse is that even for those who are conscious of calorie counts at restaurants, another recent report analyzing foods from 42 restaurants found that nearly 1 in 5 of those numbers may actually be incorrect.So with conflicting messages, what is a health conscious dieter to do? To help you navigate your next menu, we asked four nutritionists to tell us how they order at various types of restaurants, from a pizza place to an ice cream parlor to a burger joint.

    The experts we spoke to include registered dietitians Julie Upton and Katherine Brooking, founders of AppForHealth.com, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, Toby Smithson and registered dietitian and resident nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser,” Cheryl Forberg.

    Here’s their guide to maximizing nutrients, cutting back on calories, taking healthy shortcuts and yes, even indulging in moderation.

    Burger Joint
    What Our Experts Choose:

    -I look for a veggie burger and order it without mayo. I won’t eat at a burger place if they do not offer a veggie burger or a salad with cheese (I eat cheese on my salad so that I can get protein at that meal).

    Watch out for any extra add-ons that will increase the fat and saturated fat of the meal, like mayonnaise or special cream sauces. Also watch the high-fat sides like french fries. Ordering a salad with the dressing on the side as a side dish helps you meet the recommendations of filling half of your plate with vegetables!
    — Toby Smithson, RD

    -I usually get a burger — but protein-style, without fries but with lots of veggies! Luckily I love mustard, which unlike ketchup, has no sugar. Occasionally I’ll have cheese or avocado on my burger as well. To drink, opt for water or iced tea.
    –Cheryl Forberg, RD

    Ice Cream Parlor
    What Our Experts Choose:
    -I’ll usually just take a few tastes with the tasting spoons that they usually have. If I want something more, I’ll try to have all-fruit sorbet or frozen yogurt. Once in a great while, I’ll indulge and have a scoop of rich, chocolate ice cream!
    –Cheryl Forberg, RD

    -Just go for a kid size or one-scoop serving of a more traditional flavor like vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. If you go really exotic — fudgy, chunky, nutty — that just means more calories. Opt for a cone — less ice cream can fit into a cone than a cup — and cones have hardly any calories.
    –Julie Upton, RD

    -Because I have diabetes, I look for a “sugar free” ice cream or frozen yogurt. Just because it says sugar free doesn’t mean I can eat as much as I want, but it does offer less carbohydrates. –Toby Smithson, RD

    -Well, if I find myself at the ice cream parlor, I am definitely going to enjoy some ice cream! Try not to have an ice cream treat more than once every couple of weeks … even less if you are aiming to lose weight. When you do go, stick with one scoop in a regular-sized cone. And make sure you savor the experience! Skip the sundaes and heavy toppings. My favorite: Mint Choco Chip!!
    –Katherine Brooking, RD

    To keep reading this article, visit The Huffington Post’s health and wellness destination site, Healthy Living.

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