Who says that eating out can’t be low cal? I say as long as you have the information available, you can make healthier decisions at any eatery. Working the San Francisco Financial District (or as we locals call it the FiDi) I have a lot of dining options at my fingertips. Here is an example full day of restaurant-purchased meals complete with calorie counts in my healthy eating range:
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on July 13, 2011 at 6:30pm —
Earlier this week during an in-office conversation about America’s obesity epidemic (these conversations happen a lot at FoodCALC) I was reminded of a Time Magazine article from a few years ago that really struck me. I handed the article off to my colleague Lara Baldwin who also had some of my similar thoughts on the matter I thought I’d share them with you:
Childhood obesity is a hot topic these days, and it seems that… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on June 29, 2011 at 4:01pm —
Link to video: http://www.myfoxal.com/category/195956/video-landing-page?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=5887033
A few years ago a local news station released an exposé on a few major chain restaurants revealing that the nutrition facts that they had been disclosing to the public about some of their healthier meal offerings… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on June 1, 2011 at 5:00pm —
Hi all, a busy week at the office, so I took some blog material from the FoodCALC consumer blog Dining by Numbers, I hope you like it:
As someone who works in the restaurant industry, I know that a big complaint among restaurant operators when I ask them about providing calorie information to their customers is simple: cost. You see, the traditional method that… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on March 24, 2011 at 7:54am —
A little over a year ago I posted a blog
about the lack of change in restaurant food ordering resulting from the New York City menu labeling law. Now, with the upcoming national menu labeling law it looks like diners are starting to have a change of heart.
A few months ago myself and FoodCALC’s Brand Coordinator, Lara Baldwin hit the streets to ask real diners what they thought about…
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on December 1, 2010 at 4:37pm —
This situation happens to me a lot and it is beginning to drive me crazy: I go into a restaurant (generally speaking, quick service) and ask “do you have nutrition information?”. Instead of “No” I get: “All of our ingredients are organic,” or “locally sourced,” or “made without animal products,” or something else equally as irrelevant. Don’t get me wrong, all of these things are GREAT, but they aren’t going to help me or anyone else with our weight goals.… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on November 17, 2010 at 4:42pm —
We all know that guests love the pre-meal bread basket or chips and salsa, but today's guest post from FoodCALC's Dining by Numbers Blog, (previously the Dining Detective) gives us a little insight as to how many extra calories those freebies may be adding to our meals.…
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on October 21, 2010 at 8:07am —
Do you ever go to the grocery store and get lost in all the health symbols on packaging? It’s like looking at a map with no key. What the H does all of this mean? Once you learn one it seems like three more come out. Between the Hannaford Guiding Stars that are only seen on the East Coast, the Smart Choices program that had some major issues with its criteria,… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on October 6, 2010 at 7:30pm —
In the world of American cuisine, size does matter. We are a big people obsessed with big food. And, while plentiful and delicious, this “healthy” American appetite is taking its toll on our waistlines and overall health. After all, more food = more calories = more body mass.
The trend of giant portion sizes also takes its toll on restaurant operations and costs. When you serve more food food costs obviously increase which can cause operators to order lower… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on September 8, 2010 at 7:30pm —
There have been a few studies that have looked at the affects of menu labeling/nutrition information disclosure in restaurants. Most of them, not surprisingly have had very modest results. But I have been reading about some restaurants that have seen some pretty impressive changes in sales and diner ordering habits. I thought I’d share some with you:
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on August 25, 2010 at 7:00pm —
Last week I had the pleasure of presenting with one of my all-time favorite celebrity chefs Graham Kerr
at the ACF conference in Anaheim
. This was my second time presenting with Graham, having met him previously through our mutual professional interests. Although I have heard his story before, it never fails to touch me every time. I won’t do the story…
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on August 11, 2010 at 7:30pm —
If you have time please take a minute to watch this short video clip, it’s less than 2 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw
Isn’t that great?!? This company was able to get 66% more people to take the stairs just by adding an element of fun. This got me thinking about our industry and how we may be able to use The Fun Theory
to get… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on July 28, 2010 at 7:00pm —
As most of us know menu labeling laws only affect larger chain restaurants, but I am getting a lot more clients who are smaller chains and even independents. In an industry that vigorously fought menu labeling, why now are so many operators starting to provide nutrition information voluntarily. I thought up and researched a few reasons, and now I’d like to share them with you:…
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on July 14, 2010 at 7:00pm —
What is healthy? It may seem like a silly and simple question, but can you put a number on it? What about a set of numbers? If so, do those numbers apply to me; a 5’3” female? What about to a 6’5” male athlete? When you think about it, healthy is a very subjective term.
When people go out to eat and look for “healthy” options what do they look for? There are so many nutrition messages circulating around stores, restaurants, and the media, it’s hard to tell which… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on June 30, 2010 at 6:30pm —
Every five years the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases a new and revised set of dietary guidelines for Americans. Basically what happens is that a group of nutrition and health experts get together to decide how Americans should be eating. Then the USDA publishes these guidelines to the public and evidently (based on obesity statistics) most of us ignore them.
Since the last set of guidelines was published in 2005, we’re due for an update this year,… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on June 16, 2010 at 7:00pm —
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a fair weather dieter. I eat well when it’s convenient (i.e. in the FoodCALC offices). But there are certain situations that call for certain foods: chicken wings on football Sundays, Indian delivery the day after a long night out, fast food onroad trips; some things you just have to do.
No matter how healthy we should be, and how well… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on June 2, 2010 at 8:30pm —
First it was saturated fat, and then it was trans fat, the new culprit on the menu: SODIUM. And not without reason: In salt-sensitive people, elevated levels of sodium in the diet have been shown to raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. So it’s no surprise that health advocates like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have been lobbying for government control over the use of… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on May 19, 2010 at 7:00pm —
It looks like health advocates are going back to old fashioned techniques for combating childhood obesity. The old reward or penalize method is the latest tactic proposed Santa Clara County California for fast food restaurants who offer free toys with kids meals.
The toy ban would only allow restaurants to offer toys in kid’s meals if the meals meet nutritional criteria (less than 485 calories, no more than 35 percent of calories from fat or 10 percent from added sweeteners, or have… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on May 6, 2010 at 6:00am —
Within all of the complicated and controversial new laws and regulations written in the US Health Care Reform Bill lies a national menu labeling law. The bill will affect all chain restaurants in the country with 20 or more location and will preempt all state and local menu labeling laws.
Of course I'm stoked that soon we won't have to worry about many different pocket laws and differing regulations across the country.
Here’s a little bit more about who will be affected… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on March 31, 2010 at 5:12pm —
We like what we know and we eat what we like. The idea of “comfort food” is based on what is familiar to us, particularly from our childhoods. My friends find it strange that my idea of comfort food involves anything that comes from the freezer and is re-heated, but that’s what I grew up eating with two working parents. Fish sticks and tater tots were a very common meal along with Marie Calendar’s Pot Pies. I would think that a lot of kids these days will associate comfort food with the fast… Continue
Added by Alyson Mar, RD on March 17, 2010 at 7:00pm —