Consumer Reports: counting calories at the chain restaurants - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: counting calories at the chain restaurants

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(WMC TV) - New restaurant regulations that were supposed to require chains with more than 20 locations to list calorie counts on their menus are stalled.

But many restaurants have already started disclosing that information anyway.

Consumer Reports wanted to see whether restaurant-goers are getting a good count. The magazine's food experts chose 17 menu offerings at a dozen casual restaurants and fast food chains and compared their nutritional claims with reality. They included restaurants
such as IHOP, Red Lobster, Cheese Cake Factory, and McDonald's.

Consumer Reports bought food from three of each of the restaurant chains' locations. Back in the labs, testers ground the food to analyze it for calories and fat.

Not all the offerings tested from Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse measured up.
Outback's Grilled Chicken on the Barbie claims to have seven grams of fat, but contained as
much as 13 grams in Consumer Reports' tests. Olive Garden's Lasagna Primavera
with Grilled Chicken is supposed to have 20 grams of fat. But it had as much as 32

All the other menus and websites were correct, according to the magazine's researchers.

Consumer Reports said it's important to check because even if you're ordering grilled chicken, that doesn't mean you're getting a lower-calorie meal. When you're checking a menu, watch out for words such as "battered," "creamy," "crispy," "crusted," or "stuffed." Those all signal "fattening."

Consumer Reports said there are a number of things you can do to make eating out
healthier. Order sauces on the side, and do the same with salad dressing. Stick to no-calorie beverages such as water, seltzer, and tea. Don't think you have to finish everything then and there. Take some home and eat it at another meal.

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