Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Don't get Fooled by Salads

One of my patients ate out the other night and had the meal in the picture.

The meal is called, "Grilled Shrimp and Citrus Salad" and the menu describes it as,

"Mixed greens with oranges, grilled peppers and onions, Feta cheese and spiced walnuts in a spiced honey citrus vinaigrette. Topped with 2 grilled lemon pepper shrimp skewers"
Sounds healthy right?

My patient sure thought so, but she wanted to find out how many calories were in it, so she emailed the contact information on the restaurant's website.

A registered dietitian whose email signature's title was "Corporate Dietitian" wrote back and told her that the salad that sounded so healthy contained 641 Calories and an almost unbelievable 47 grams of fat. Now she didn't provide the breakdown of whether or not the fat was saturated, unsaturated or trans but it accounted for an astronomical 66% of the total calories of the meal.

Morals of this story:
  1. If you aren't sure of the Calorie count of a food item served at a major restaurant you can always email them and ask.
  2. The word "salad" does automatically mean a meal is healthy or low calorie.
  3. Don't order the Kelsey's Citrus Salad with Shrimp Skewers unless you really, really love it.
  4. Be leery of dietitians who identify themselves as "corporate" rather than "registered" (though I do commend her for her honesty as to where her allegiance lies and I'm sure that some who run with the "corporate" title don't sell out their nutritional education).

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