Monday, March 21, 2011

Meatless Monday: Diners Beware Part 2

Those of you who joined me for Meatless Monday last week learned that I am taking a break from my usual posts to provide you with nutrition information for restaurant chains. Last week the categories were: Breakfast, Coffee, Donuts, and Ice Cream. This week I’m moving on to a bigger list — Fast Food/Take-Out — broken down into smaller sub-categories. These links will also help those seeking to avoid meat. Your options are more varied in some places than in others.

First, let me preface this new list with some good news. I’ve discovered an exception to the usual fast food chain — Chipotle. Chipotle’s founder, Steve Ells, is one of the celebrity  investors/judges on an NBC reality series on which I’ve become hooked — “America’s Next Great Restaurant”, and I've been learning a lot about Steve Ells and Chipotle while watching the show. Ells opened his first Chipotle in  Denver in 1993 with a loan from his dad. Chipotle’s slogan is: “Food with integrity” and Chipotle is committed to serving fresh food, prepared daily, on-site, with sustainably raised ingredients. You can read more in this “Letter from Steve.” The Chipotle menu has just a few items, with a long list of options from which you can “build the perfect meal.” Note that at Chipotle you can still overdo it, but whether or not you go overboard on the salt, fat, or calories is under your control.

If you look carefully you will find some reasonable choices in some of the sandwich chains as well. In general, though, if the fat or calories don’t get you, the sodium will.

As a point of reference, keep in mind this info from last week. A moderately active young woman requires approximately 2,000 calories per day. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone limit daily sodium consumption to 1500 milligrams (less than 3/4 teaspoon of salt), and that the aforementioned woman limit her saturated fat to 20 grams or less, and her total fat to between 50 and 70 grams per day. Most of these menus are using the older 2300 milligrams a day guideline for sodium intake.

Arbys (contains info for Arby’s and Wendy’s):
Burger King: (for individual items) or read the entire list (without sodium) here:
In-N-Out Burger:
Jack in the Box: [Contains a few “healthy choice” items but the sodium is still high]
Red Robin: (to calculate individual items)
Wendy’s (contains info for Arby’s and Wendy’s):
White Castle:
Boston Market:
Long John Silver’s:
Popeye’s (available for download by clicking on “nutrition” under the “food” tab):
Moe’s Southwest Grill: 
Calculate for individual menu items here.: [Check out the Homewrecker Burrito.]
PF Chang’s:
Taco Bell:
Chuck E. Cheese’s (Shown by the slice):
Domino’s: [The math is up to you and it doesn’t look good.]
Papa John’s (Shown by the slice):
Pizza Hut (Shown by the slice):
Sbarro: [No luck with this one, only this message: This page is under construction! I’m betting the news is not good.]
Au Bon Pain: [Offers a number of healthy choices — particularly in “Portions,” snacks, yogurt, and oatmeal. Watch out for the fat and calories in the blended drinks and for the salt in general.]
Subway: [There are low fat choices, but the sodium is high. Read carefully to determine whether the facts pertain to a 6” or 12” selection.] 
Have a good week. Join me next Monday for the listing for Restaurants with Table Service. I hope I haven’t ruined it for you. But you can’t save the planet if you’re not around…

I try to blog on food or food issues each Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

No comments:

Post a Comment