I’m not just talking about Big Macs, for secret sauce isn’t limited to peach mayonnaise.
“Secret sauce” is in many popular menu items – often the ones you’d least expect. From oil to cornstarch to corn syrup, it’s not just portion sizes that are to blame for restaurant meals delivering calorie loads heavy enough to feed a small country. Are you aware of these sneaky sauces?
- Americanized “Asian” cuisine
You avoid the deep fried pork bits and choose a chicken sweet ‘n sour entree instead.
The secret: If it’s not deep-fried with a sauce, it’s still got a sauce. That sauce is almost always a sugary, cornstarchy affair: a blood sugar spike waiting to happen.
The solution: Go for authentic Asian cuisine that contains more vinegar and healthful oils instead of cheap carbs. Clear does not mean calorie-free.
You avoid the ranch and blue cheese dressings and stick to a raspberry vinaigrette.
The secret: These blends are often nothing more than high fructose corn syrup or a cheap oil such as canola or soybean – or a mix of both.
The solution: Ask for balsamic vinegar and olive oil instead, or choose a salad with enough fruits and veggies to naturally moisten the greens (tomatoes, cucumbers, mangos and citrus work well).
You avoid the fried chicken and choose that herb-crusted salmon. Omega-3′s and weight loss are yours. Right?
The secret: Often, restaurant fish is farmed fish, so it’s just as high in bad fats as a meat option. And grilled chicken or fish are typically drenched in more oil or sweet glazes than you realize. “Herb crusts” can contain a lot of bread crumbs, starches and sugary additives.
The solution: Go for grilled or baked protein choices that use white wine, balsamic reductions, or lemon and herbs. Ask for your meat to be cooked “dry” to cut down on the cupfuls of oil. Even healthy oil can be too much of a good thing if your chicken breast is swimming around just trying to cope.
Aha! Veggies are a healthy, no-brainer choice for weight loss and smart dining.
The secret: Vegetables, especially carrots and potatoes, are high in starch. Choose green vegetables, or vegetable medleys. And be aware: that rich, buttery flavor comes from ladels of prepared hydrogenated margarine “sauce”.
The solution: Have your veggies steamed or seasoned without the oil. Ask for a side of olive oil or a small pat of butter instead.
- Omelets (and scrambled eggs)
Eggs – the perfect protein!
The secret: Eggs are typically cooked on a greasy grill. An omelet can set you back upwards of 1,000 calories, depending on the filling choices. Even vegetable omelets are far too oily. Omelets and eggs should not glisten.
The solution: Ask for your choice to be fried or scrambled “dry” to avoid the grill’s caloric generosity.
What am I leaving out? What other foods contain sneaky calories? Chat here.