Thursday, July 17, 2008

A 630 Calorie Muffin?? Yep.

Ever wonder how many calories are in those chocolate chip cookies or those moist luscious slices of pound cake in the pastry case at Starbucks? New Yorkers now know, and quite a few of them aren't too happy about it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but in this case, ignorance can add hundreds of calories to your daily diet without your knowing. So, in their efforts to battle the bulge for their citizens, New York city officials passed a law requiring restaurant chains to post the calorie totals for their foods. It has sent some consumers reeling to discover what some might have already suspected.

Even though it's labeled as "fat free" a slice of the banana chocolate chip cake comes in at 390 calories at Starbucks. One popular muffin at Dunkin' Donuts is 630 calories. A muffin! And diners at T.G.I. Friday's are stunned to learn a good number of the meals on the popular chain's menu are well over 1000 calories, even the salads!

We really shouldn't be surprised and we shouldn't condemn them for it. These are restaurants not health food purveyors. They're in the business of selling good tasting food, food that's so good you want to come back again and again. But if you come back too often, you need to know you may well be, in a single meal, eating your entire day's calorie allotment. There is nothing wrong with eating out, but to do it several times a week is probably going to make you put on weight. Starting your day with a calorie and carb loaded muffin and a fancy cup of sweetened milk-rich coffee isn't doing your diet any good, either. If you're trying to lose weight, these meals and snacks will leave you fighting an uphill battle.

We like to fool ourselves sometimes. As long as we don't know the calories, they can't possibly be that bad, can they? Or if we're eating in the car, or standing over the sink, they don't really count, do they? But they do count and much more than many of us realize. New Yorkers are finding that out. Seattle and San Francisco have similar laws going into effect later this year. Such a law might be coming to your city. If it does, don't run, just be aware. Information is power.

Perhaps instead of eating that entire Bloomin' Onion at Outback Steakhouse all by yourself, (at more than 2000 calories,) you share it with two or three friends. Managing our weight, means managing our food. It's not a bad thing.

No comments: