David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health, lends expert advice on the biggest menu mistakes you didn’t know you were making.
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Eating Healthily When Eating Out Doctor Travis Stork: David Zinczenko is author of the best selling book Eat This Not That and he’s here to share some of the best and worst foods in America’s favorite hotspot. As you can see, we’ve got our very own little restaurant going on here and we’ve invited a family to dine with us; Joe, Debbie, Sydney and Gabriela, thank you all for coming. So, you admittedly, I was reading your story, as a family, you eat out a lot, right? Joe: Yeah. Doctor Travis Stork: So Joe, I’m going to start with you. A big fan of Mexican food, right? Joe: Yes. Doctor Travis Stork: Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. I like Mexican food myself. We’re going to do a little comparison of the choices you could make. Joe: That is a burrito. David Zinczenko: That is from Baja Fresh. So, that is 830 calories. It’s got a full day’s worth of sodium, 2200 milligrams and it’s got 45 grams of fat. Doctor Travis Stork: So, here’s the good news. At Baja Fresh instead -- David Zinczenko: You could have tacos. What’s going to happen there is you’re going to have 440 calories, so you’re going to save yourself 400. You do that a couple of times a week over the course of the year, boom, 10 pounds gone. You’re going to cut the fat from 45 down to 14. So, that’s a smart swap that you can make. It’s not a difficult decision. It’s still delicious and you basically gotten rid a lot of the unhealthy stuff. Doctor Jim Sears: And you know I did—once a week and I did, I made the switch from the burrito to the tacos and they taste good. Doctor Andrew Ordon: And portion wise, they’re pretty close. Doctor Travis Stork: So Debbie, you are the salad eater of the bunch, right? Debbie: Well, you think you’re eating healthy for the most part. Doctor Travis Stork: Well in this, you know what? You’re right. Most people think just by ordering a salad, it means “I’m about to eat a healthy meal.” Debbie: It’s better than a burger, right? Doctor Travis Stork: Not always. So, let’s say Debbie you guys go to Chili's for dinner and you go with that boneless buffalo chicken salad, right David? David Zinczenko: Yup. Doctor Travis Stork: And tell us why that may not be the best option. David Zinczenko: In this case, you’re taking a bed of lettuce and you’re putting a bucket of fried chicken on it and then you’re drowning it in dressing. So, you end up with 1100 calories, you end up with 84 grams of fat and 4400 milligrams of sodium. Doctor Travis Stork: Not many burgers have 84 grams of fat, so that’s pretty frightening. David Zinczenko: I mean you’re turning what could be a healthy salad into a frankenfood. Doctor Travis Stork: So, a better option. David Zinczenko: Is the classic Sirloin and Veggies. This is 730 calories. It’s 40 grams of fat. The good news is that it’s simple and delicious. Doctor Travis Stork: So, that’s the classic sirloin with seasonal veggies and cinnamon apples. Is that something that would be appealing to you? Debbie: Definitely. I think you’d be fuller too eating that as opposed to eating a salad, you might stay fuller longer. Doctor Lisa Masterson: And I think that’s typically what women do. We’ll get the salad thinking we’re saving calories and it’s light and not knowing and assuming the other plate would actually be more. Debbie: And then you’re hungry sooner. Doctor Lisa Masterson: Yeah. Doctor Travis Stork: So, salads can be very healthy, it’s just what you put on them is so very important. And Sydney, how old are you? Sydney: Eleven. Doctor Travis Stork: And I’ve heard you’re a pasta lover. Sydney: Yes. Doctor Travis Stork: So, let’s just say that you go to the Olive Garden, Sydney, and what we got in front of you is the Child’s Fettuccine Alfredo which may seem like no big deal but it’s more than just a child’s meal. David Zinczenko: Yeah. Alfredo is not really your friend Sydney, okay? Alfredo is basically three different kinds of fat. It’s like cream, its oil, its butter, so you’re going to end up with 800 calories. I kn