Food Pitfalls that KILL Weight Loss
You’re working hard to lose weight the right way. Here are three food pitfalls to avoid, as they can take you seriously off track. We’ve chosen one from each of our favorite fast-food comfort cuisines: Chinese, Indian, and American.
- Salt bomb
While there’s certainly healthful Chinese food, typical Chinese fast food is often loaded with two problematic ingredients: MSG, a preservative that is associated with higher rates of obesity (1), and sodium. Though this cuisine usually includes veggies (good!), one study found that dishes in Chinese restaurants average 2,544mg of sodium per serving (2). One meal could easily put you over the CDC’s recommended 2,300mg of sodium daily for adults (3).
Additionally, many menu items are deep fried, such as egg rolls and sweet-and-sour meat entrees. Include a sugary sauce and the calories add up very fast.
- Cream bath
The menu at your local Indian eatery likely has a long list of curries. While these dishes take advantage of healthy spices, they are often made with heavy cream and sugar. Research shows that Indian fast food often contains higher levels of trans fats (4). Calorie intake can shoot up when adding rice and naan bread to your meal—not to mention deep-fried sides like samosas.
- Calorie heavyweight
American fast-food options like burgers, hot dogs, wings, fried chicken, fries, and pizza all have one thing in common: They’re calorie dense, which means they have a high ratio of calories to their weight.
Here’s an example. A large order of french fries is about 6 ounces and 510 calories. Compare that with 6 ounces of a baked potato, which comes in at 158 calories.
What’s more, researchers have found that portion size has increased dramatically in American fast-food establishments over the last 30 years. This means calorie count and sodium levels have also skyrocketed. Combined, these changes are contributing to higher rates of diabetes and obesity in the U.S., the researchers say(5).
Watching your waistline doesn’t mean never again stepping into a restaurant, but it does mean being mindful about your choices and searching for options that fit with your goals. While you’re being intentional with your order, try and cut back overall on your dining-out frequency.
With a little insight about what goes on in the restaurant kitchen, you’ll make much healthier choices at the table. And if you want to learn even more, check out our FREE Entalla meal plans. Entalla meals are healthy, delicious, easy to make, and - above all - nutritious!
Let’s get healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio
- He, K., Zhao, L., Daviglus, M. L., Dyer, A. R., Van Horn, L., Garside, D., Zhu, L., Guo, D., Wu, Y., Zhou, B., Stamler, J., & INTERMAP Cooperative Research Group (2008). Association of monosodium glutamate intake with overweight in Chinese adults: the INTERMAP Study. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 16(8), 1875–1880. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2008.274
- Wenwen Du, Huijun Wang, Jiguo Zhang et al. Cross-Sectional Analysis of Sodium in Chinese Restaurants and Implications for Salt Reduction Initiatives, 02 June 2021, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-560623/v1
- Agrawal, A., Gupta, R., Varma, K., Mathur, B. (2008) High trans fatty acid content in common Indian fast foods. Nutrition and Science. Vol. 38(6), 564-569. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346650810920178
- McCrory, M., Harbaugh, A., Appeadu, S., Roberts, S. (2019) Fast-Food Offerings in the United States in 1986, 1991, and 2016 Show Large Increases in Food Variety, Portion Size, Dietary Energy, and Selected Macronutrients. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 119(6) 923-933. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2018.12.004
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