Saturday, October 24, 2009

Deadly Secrets of the Restaurant Trade

How do restaurants make their food taste so good? Here is the unhealthy truth.

Butter. In the soup. In the sauce. On the meat. On the vegetables. Butter is the easiest, quickest way to make things taste rich and wonderful.

Oil. Another way to make foods taste richer is to use lots of oil (remember, oil is a fat). This is why fried foods taste good: They are sponges for the oil they are cooked in.

At a restaurant they may pour on salt for maximum flavor.Animal fat. Want to make anything taste better? Add bacon or other forms of pork fat -- to vegetables, soups, and mashed potatoes.

Salt. Cook at home, you shake a little salt in while you go. At a restaurant, you pour it in to extract maximum flavor.

Sweeteners. Ever have vegetables that tasted sweeter than a dessert? That's because the cook added lots of sugar.

A Bloomin' Health Bomb
With all this talk of unhealthy additives, do we even have to tell you to skip the Bloomin' Onion, cheese fries, cheese quesadillas, and fried mozzarella sticks that begin many chain restaurant menus?

Take the popular fried onion. When researchers at the Center for Science in the Public Interest looked at the nutritional content, they found the typical appetizer portion contains 1,690 calories and 116 grams of fat -- 44 of them saturated. And that's without the dipping sauce. You say you're going to share? Well, CSPI found even half gives you about a day's fat and saturated fat along with more than half a day's sodium.

Bottom line: Skip the fried appetizers and order a salad or a fat-free broth-based soup instead.

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