Finding The Hidden Dangers In Eating Out

With the weekend upon us, it is customary to begin contemplating your plans. Whether with family or friends, eating out is bound to be on the to-do list.

You may even think of yourself as health conscience when it comes to picking through the menu. Ordering a burger with no bun and a salad, you hand in the menu with your head held high, knowing you are going to rock that bathing suit on next weekend’s family beach vacation.

But it’s a sad day for us all because the restaurant industry operates like a fat-injecting ninja, sneaking in unwanted calories and sodium wherever they can get away with it.

No need to worry. With a little help, zeroing in on the culprits won’t be too difficult and “Operation Beach Weekend” can still be a go.

Jessica Migala of Health Magazine points out some of the worst health offenders on the menu— and not just for your waist:

“According to a recent Consumer Reports study, harmful microbes tend to be mixed throughout ground beef—whereas with whole cuts of meat, the microbes are more likely to stay on the surface and die off when exposed to heat.”

“After healthy people ate a high-fat meal, their blood pressure was higher when faced with a stressor compared to when they ate a low-fat one, found research from the Journal of Nutrition.”

Eating a rare, or even medium rare, burger poses a significantly greater risk of infection for the consumer. Better yet, nix the burger for a veggie patty or chicken instead.

As for the french fries, try steamed broccoli or a side salad instead; because it is easy to be faced with a stressor when your kid is upside down at the table screaming for an extra balloon.

Not to mention, Health Magazine reports this about cheesy ranch fries:

According to the CSPI, it can contain nearly 5,000mg of sodium”.

“One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that blood vessel function is impaired within 30 minutes of eating a high-salt meal.”

Then for the obvious dilemma with eating out—the calories.

“The average person shouldn’t consume more than 700 calories per meal,” says Deborah Cohen, MD, a senior natural scientist at the policy think-tank Rand Corporation and author of ‘A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Forces of the Obesity Epidemic—and How We Can End It’.

Choosing a menu item that is 700 calories or less may be trickier than you think. We all know that ordering the super burger meal packs in the calories, but do we realize a salad can do the same?

Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, author of Doctor’s Detox Diet writes,

“An Oriental grilled chicken salad at a popular chain clocks in at nearly 1,300 calories and 84 grams of fat. The worst offenders are usually Asian chicken salads, cobb salads, and Buffalo chicken salads.”

Now that there is a clearer picture of what to order at a restaurant, or rather what not to order, what about your drink? A cocktail is a coveted drink after a long week of mommy duties; especially when daddy is with you to pick up some more responsibility with the kids.

When ordering, keep in mind healthy guidelines of alcohol intake, calories, and sugar.

Health reported:

“National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that women stick to seven drinks per week—and no more than two per day. But one margarita (which is 33% alcohol in just 3 ounces) actually counts as 1.7 drinks, according to the NIH’s cocktail content calculator.”

Enjoy that one drink, you deserve it; assuming of course you have a designated driver and help with the kids.