Weekday Vegetarian: Analyzing Food by Way of Bacon Slices
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
Given that it is the weekend, you might be considering having some bacon along with your Sunday brunch. Like most people, you know enough to limit yourself to two pieces because it's really not that good for you. Lots of calories, lots of fat. In fact, one medium sized slice of bacon has 43 calories and 1.1 grams of saturated fat. What if you thought about restaurant entrees in terms of the numbers of bacon slices you could have consumed for the same amount of calories and saturated fat. That's exactly what Hilary Meyer of the website Eating Well did, and the results surprised her.Ms. Meyer took three restaurant meals and analyzed them, and then determined how many bacon slices she would have had to eat to arrive at the same caloric count and amount of fat. Bear in mind that the average person requires about 2000 calories a day and should limit their saturated fat to 16 grams per day.
A Chicago deep dish pizza came in at 770 calories with 18 grams of fat. She could have eaten 18 strips of bacon for the same amount. A plate of ribs had a whopping 1750 calories with 29 grams of fat. That's almost all of your caloric allotment for the entire day, and almost twice the amount of saturated fat you should have. You would get the same amount with 26 slices of bacon. A chicken and shrimp carbonara from The Olive Garden clocked in at 1440 calories with a shocking 38 grams of saturated fat. You'd have to eat 35 slices of bacon to accomplish that, but of course, you never would. It's like figuring out how much sugar you are ingesting when you drink a regular soda. You'd never sit down and eat the equivalent amount of sugar out of a bowl.
We don't always pay enough attention to the amount of fat and calories we consume, especially when we are eating out. If you eat in restaurants very occasionally, then there's no problem. However, if you eat out often you might consider changing the way you order. Choose a vegetarian tomato based pasta sauce, rather than a cream sauce. Have fish or a vegetarian entree rather than a big plate of ribs. Get a thin crust pizza with lots of vegetables and not so much cheese. It's all a matter of being aware of what we eat.
More on Restaurant Eating
Eating Family Dinners Out Can Be a Nutritional
Recently Gone Vegetarian? 5 Tips for Choosing Restaurants with More Vegetarian Options
How to Find Restaurants that use Local and Organic Food