10 Menu words you want to avoid

By: Health Local Staff Aug 15, 2012
healthy resteraunt options

Learn to say no to these menu terms and your body will thank you.

We all enjoy eating out at restaurants or grabbing takeout on busy days when packing a lunch or cooking dinner just doesn’t seem possible. For those who are trying to lose weight or just be healthy; eating out can mean a setback in your progress and efforts if you don’t know what to avoid. When it comes to eating out, knowing what menu words to avoid is just as important as knowing what foods to avoid. Let’s look at a few menu words that you should steer clear of if you’re trying to eat light or healthy.

1. Alfredo: This conjures up images of creamy and rich pasta, doesn’t it? That is precisely why you should avoid it. Alfredo sauce is high in fat and calories thanks to the full-fat cream and immense amount of butter used to make it.

2. Au Gratin: As enticing as this sounds; it really stands for “dripping with cream and cheese”—and usually not the low-fat kind either! Dish names that contain the term ‘au gratin’ are generally very high in fat and sugars.

3. Battered: This one should be self-explanatory, but for those who have trouble resisting or think that battered fish or veggies is a healthy option; batters used in restaurants are usually very high in fat, enriched flour, and cholesterol. And, most battered dishes are also deep fried which means more fat.

4. BBQ: This one may come as a surprise to many as barbecuing is often deemed a healthy way of preparing meats and other foods. In restaurant lingo, ‘BBQ’ usually means that something is covered in BBQ sauce which is high in sugar and fat.

5. Cocktail: Tasty as these drinks may be, they not only contain alcohol but they are also extremely high in sugar thanks to syrups, fruit juices and blends, and even cream and ice cream depending on the drink.

6. Cream: The word ‘cream’ or any variation of it, such as ‘creamed’ or ‘creamy’ needs to be avoided as often as possible. Full-fat cream is generally used in these dishes which make them high in fat and calories as well as a red flag for anyone with stomach issues and lactose intolerance.

7. Dressing: A salad or veggie sticks are no longer healthy option if you’re not careful with what type of dressing you choose with them. Dressings are often a lot higher in calories and sugar than most people realize. Opt for low fat dressings or vinaigrettes instead.

8. Sauce: Beware of any menu items that include sauce of any kind as they are often full of cream, butter, oil, as well as sodium and sugar.

9. Stuffed: You will never find a healthy option that has been “stuffed” on a menu. Foods that are stuffed often contain breads, cream, sodium, and sugars in high amounts which can take a healthy food such as chicken breast or even a pepper and make it unhealthy and a dieter’s worst enemy.

10. Tempura: If you enjoy Japanese food then you need to steer clear of any menu items containing the word “tempura” as these are always breaded and fried which means loads of fat and calories.

Learn to say no to these menu words and your body will thank you.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.