Tag Archives: eating out

Trans Fat and Saturated Fat Use Decline in Fast Food Restaurants, Study says

 Eating at fast food restaurants just got a little healthier according to one study presented at the National Nutrient Database Conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Trans fat and saturated fat use by 5 major fast food chains………… Find this story in its entirety at our new location  http://bit.ly/brI7T4

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Filed under dining out, Eat What?, fat, iPhone apps, monounsaturated fat, PICKKA, polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat, Shop to Lose, trans fat

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Eat What?

Eat What? recommends what to eat from grocery stores and restaurants.

Last month, PICKKA launched a cool new app for the iPhone – Eat What?. This nifty app provides you with a list of recommended products to buy at the grocery store and/or suggestions of menu items from a restaurant based on your dietary objectives (e.g., management of diabetes, prediabetes, weight, cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and/or adhering to healthy eating).  Eat What? is simple to use.

First, select your health objectives.

Second, specify whether you want to search restaurant menu items or products from the grocery store.  Then, type the name of the restaurant, product brand, or food category for which you would like recommendations.

Third, review the list of recommendations.  Nutritional information is provided as well as consumer ratings of taste to help you narrow your choice.

“Eat What?” eliminates the guess work out of deciding what to eat so you can spend more time enjoying your food and less time analyzing it.  For an easy way to stay on track, download the “Eat What?” app for your iPhone.

Don’t have an iPhone?  Try PICKKA’s “Eat This?” app now available for the Android market.  Visit Eat This?” to learn more and to download the app to your Android phone.

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Filed under Eat This?, Eat What?, health, healthy eating tips, healthy food, iPhone apps, nutrition, nutrition labels, PICKKA, restaurant meals

Home Style Fast Food

Make your own healthy version of a fast food meal.

Have you decided that you and your family need to cut back on the number of meals you eat from fast food restaurants?  Your good intentions might be met with strong protests from the youngest members of your family, especially if they are big fans of the enticing kid’s meals offered at these chains.  But, you can make this transition a little easier on all of you by making your own fast food meal – home style.

The idea is to make the healthy change in diet fun for your child.  You can do this by designating one night each week as “Make Our Own Fast Food Meal.”  You can give your child’s favorite fast food meal a nutrition makeover if you prepare and cook it yourself.  For instance, if chicken nuggets and fries are the number one choice, you can purchase lean chicken tender strips from your local butcher, dip them in egg whites, coat with bread crumbs, season, and then bake in the oven.  French fries can be transformed into oven baked fries.  Cut potatoes into strips, coat with nonstick cooking spray, season, and bake in the oven.

While you are cooking, have your child design and decorate his own kid’s meal box.  A carry-out box that can be purchased from your local arts and crafts store is perfect for this activity.  The child can use stickers and draw his own games (e.g., tic-tac-toe, etc.,) on the sides.  To add to the fun, you can purchase a toy from the dollar store to place inside your child’s homemade kid’s meal box.

Your child will have fun making his own kid's meal box.

Increasing the number of meals made at home, where you can control the fat, salt, and sugar content, is a great step toward living a healthy lifestyle.  Engage your child in this decision by making the change fun and adventurous.  As a result, you may find that your child starts to offer his own suggestions on how to eat healthier.

Do you have a clever idea that has helped your family make the switch to healthy eating more enjoyable? Be the first to comment below!  We want to hear what you have to say!

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Filed under children, health, healthy food, nutrition, restaurant meals

A Side of Salt?

The sodium content of some fast food meals may exceed recommended daily levels for adults.

You might be getting more than you bargained for when you bite into that cheeseburger or chicken sandwich you purchased from your favorite fast food restaurant.  But, this is not the “buy one get one free” offer you want.  According to a study published in the April 26, 2010 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, fast food meals are not only high in calories, but contain an excessive amount of sodium as well – with 20% of the total meals studied containing more than the recommended daily amount for adults, which is 2,300 mg.

If you think you are making a healthier choice by choosing a chicken dish over a hamburger meal when dining at a fast food chain, think again.  The current study found that 55% of the meals at fried chicken restaurants contained more than 2,300 mg of sodium.  Meals from the fried chicken establishments also contained, on average, 66 more calories per meal than from burger chains.  Furthermore, the chicken meals contained nearly 900 mg more sodium than burger meals.

Data from the recent study was obtained from 6,580 lunch hour receipts of adult patrons from 167 fast food chain restaurants.  The sodium content of the average meal (from both chicken and burger chains) was 1,751 mg – with 57% of all purchases exceeding 1,500 mg of sodium.  Considering that 75% of all dining out experiences occur either at casual or fast food chain establishments, these findings highlight a major public health concern.  Excessive amounts of sodium consumption can lead to elevated blood pressure levels.  Having a high blood pressure condition, known as hypertension, increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, according to the authors of the study, The American Medical Association is calling upon the food manufacturing industry to reduce the sodium content by 50% in processed foods and restaurant meals.  Some fast food chain establishments are already making changes.  In the mean time, how can you make a healthier choice the next time you visit a fast food restaurant? Check the establishment’s website.  Many now post nutrition information for the meals on their menus, which you can access prior to your dining experience.  For healthy decisions that have to be made on the fly, use the “Shop to Lose” app for the iPhone which provides the nutritional information, including sodium content, for several restaurants.

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Filed under obesity, PICKKA, restaurant meals, Shop to Lose, sodium