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Restaurant food: Healthier vs?

  1. Mar 24, 2006 #1

    Pengwuino

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    I was wondering something. If you compare home-cooking in general, fast food, casual restaurant, and fine restaurants.... what would be the order of fat and calorie content if each makes a similar meal of similar size? Of course, i don't think a fine restaurant would serve a bbq bacon cheeseburger but i just want to know in general, what's healthier?

    I've always been under the assumption that home cooking is healthiest, casual fine dining is second healthiest, casual is 3rd, and fast food was the worst.

    What is the real low down on this.

    viva la penguin revolution!!!!!
     
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  3. Mar 24, 2006 #2

    chroot

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    The biggest problem with restaurants is generally not the nutritional quality of the food; it's usually the size of the portions. Restaurants commonly serve portions twice as big as any normal person should eat in one sitting. Many people in the US have thus confused the feeling of being "stuffed" with that of simply being appropriately full.

    Though, it's true, restaurants commonly offer high-fat, high-calorie dishes you wouldn't often make at home, but that doesn't mean you have to choose those dishes.

    - Warren
     
  4. Mar 24, 2006 #3
    The nicer cuts of meat are usualy leaner so if you walk into a fine resturant and order something expensive in general the meat in it will be alot leaner than if you go and buy a burger. The sauce and other things to the meal will make the meal less healthy. The preparation of the meat might not be ideal either.

    But its not as bad as a bigmac and french fries that is for sure.

    Nothing beats cooking at home. Atleast than you have full control on what gi and macronutrient content you want for your meal.
     
  5. Mar 24, 2006 #4

    Pengwuino

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    I wish there was a way of knowing what the nutritional facts were on restaurant food. My family is half mexicans, half italians so that whole "restaurants serve you portions twice as large as homecooked food" doesn't apply to us :P
     
  6. Mar 24, 2006 #5
    you could just try and ask. If they dont know then ask how much meat, potatoes ect is in a meal. Rule of thumb for meat is easy. 20% protein and meat with no visible fat is less than 5%fat. Meat with visible fat is usualy around 10-15% fat. Thats 200-220kcal/100 grams. Potatoes are around 70-80kcal/100 grams. Add 10-20g of fat if you have a fatty sauce with it.
     
  7. Mar 24, 2006 #6

    chroot

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    Part of the enjoyable experience of going to a restaurant is seeing an enormous oversized dinner plate heaping with delicious food in front of you. Even though you don't need anywhere near that much food, it's a psychological lure that keeps you coming back for more. The restaurant isn't even very concerned about wasted food, because the actual quantity of food they give you is not that strongly correlated with their profit. They'd much rather spend twice as much on ingredients (half of which they know you will throw away) and get you into the restaurant twice as often.

    I've noticed this effect myself. I went to a reasonably fancy restaurant on Wednesday night, and was served a chicken breast and some potatoes and asparagus. When it arrived in front of me, it seemed like a very stingy serving. I even felt a little ripped off.

    Then I ate the meal, was pleasantly full but not stuffed, and realized that was actually a reasonable portion. I'm just used to restaurants serving me 2500 calories on one plate, I guess.

    - Warren
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2006
  8. Mar 24, 2006 #7

    I sure like the sound of american resturants. Here in sweden if you go into a nice resturant and order a expensive meal you get a microscopic piece of meat and a little of what you wanted with the meat. Not even a school girl would be satisfied with it.:grumpy:
     
  9. Mar 24, 2006 #8

    Pengwuino

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    America, home of the 12 pound cheeseburger.
     
  10. Mar 24, 2006 #9
    Yes, but in places like that, you don't eat one meal. You have a small appetizer, a small bowl of soup, a small meal and a small desert. I like that method better than one big meal where you get tired of the same flavor.
     
  11. Mar 24, 2006 #10

    chroot

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    Everyone likes American restaurants. You'll often get a plate twice the size of any plate used in the home, with more food than you'd need for an entire day. It's quite an experience. No wonder 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight. The medically obese population is growing steadily.

    I've read studies that show that families which use smaller dinner plates have a lower incidence of obesity. You could draw a corollary that families who eat out often, at restaurants with three-foot diameter dinner plates, must have a higher incidence of obesity. It's amazing how much psychology actually goes into the restaurant-dining experience, and how it can wreck havoc even for health-conscious customers.

    A single serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Maybe 8 bites. Restaurants will happily serve you a two-square foot steak, however, to impress you.

    - Warren
     
  12. Mar 24, 2006 #11

    Pengwuino

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    I'm all for it as long as the foods good :biggrin:
     
  13. Mar 24, 2006 #12
    If such a burger realy exist Im gonna be on the first plane to america to claim it. That would be one hell of a meal:approve:

    Poor students have to make sure they get plenty of food for the money:cry:

    Good points. Making it a habit to eat untill your stuffed each meal is horrible. Especialy for kids. I have a hunch that if a kid grows up eating like that he will never be able to be fully satisfied with a avarage sized meal later in life. I know I cant and I was raised just like that. For a meal to leave me satisfied I need to be stuffed. Im glad I workout alot so I can get away with it:biggrin:

    I dont se the serving of meat on the resturant as the biggest crock in the meal though. The baked potatoes/white rice/pasta is what does the damage imo. Just switching to brown rice and whole grain pasta would make a world of difference.
     
  14. Mar 24, 2006 #13

    chroot

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    Azael,

    You're going to end up fat, then. Just don't stop working out.

    And no, switching to brown rice won't make any difference at all. Americans typically already get adequate nutrition (vitamins and minerals) even from their very high-carbohydrate diets. Americans need to reduce macronutrient consumption. Get rid of the rice altogether, and have some green beans.

    - Warren
     
  15. Mar 24, 2006 #14
    Every Asian/Middle easterner in here is now :cry:ing. You just reduced our meals to bread.
     
  16. Mar 24, 2006 #15

    JasonRox

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    I don't know how you can brag about American restaurants because I don't consider a big plate of fries as something great. If you actually tried food that was geared towards taste, you would appreciate American restaurants a lot less. American restaurants simply pile it up with crap you can whip up at home for half the price. It's absurd.

    Fancy restaurants have regular sized portions. When I say fancy, I mean $25-30 a plate at the very least. (Not all you can eat plates.)
     
  17. Mar 24, 2006 #16
    Fortunaly I have enough self controll most of the time. But nothing beats potatoes and swedish meatballs:cry:

    My thought behind the brown rice was the lower GI, not as much the vitamins and minerals. But I guess your right, the avarage american eats to much above maintanace kcal for the lowering of GI to have any big impact. But it would atleast be one small step in preventing the diabetes epedemic.
     
  18. Mar 24, 2006 #17
    So true Jason, so true. TGI fridays is not a resturant, sorry.

    Although there are some that are expensive and do give you big portions too! Those places are the best! MMMMM daily grill......
     
  19. Mar 24, 2006 #18

    chroot

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    I didn't intend to say that people should never eat carbohydrates. I was only responding to Azael's post about a meal that included a huge portion of meat, plus rice or potatoes or other carbohydrate-rich food.

    Instead of a huge serving of meat PLUS rice, why not make a rice-based dish?

    - Warren
     
  20. Mar 24, 2006 #19
    I think if most American's ate the same size portion of food, but of real, home cooked quality food, they would not be so fat. Too much food from cans, freezer dinners and fast food chains that make them fat. Lot's of preservatives and toooooooo much sugar.
     
  21. Mar 24, 2006 #20

    Or even better. Just the meat and some veggies and maby a little beans on the side.
     
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