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Thinking Outside the Bun

24 Feb

Thinking Outside the Bun

Time to lace up your jogging shoes for a run to the border. Taco Bell is getting set to launch its Doritos Locos Tacos on March 8.

The taco features Doritos Nacho Cheese tortilla chips masquerading as a crunchy taco shell. Not exactly crazy, as the name implies – but just wild enough to amass media hype over an estimated 85 million taco shells on reserve for the mad dash.

Now for the breakdown: a good old fashioned Taco Bell Crunchy Taco gets you 3 grams of dietary fiber for 170 calories. The 14 gram taco shell has 1 gram of that fiber.

Since a 28 gram serving of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips (1 oz, 11 chips) also has 1 gram of fiber, you can surmise that the new Doritos shell will only have 0.5 grams of fiber in a 14 gram shell…once again reinforcing the notion that half of nothing is still nothing.

While TB hasn’t yet released its official nutrition stats on this marvelous mashup, the company has confirmed the taco will be topped with reduced-fat sour cream. Cutting condiment calories? Great ruse for placating the nutritionally-concerned consumer!

So, what’s a better bet at Taco Bell? Go for their Fresco Bean Burrito: with 11 grams of fiber and 350 calories, this menu item will fill you up without filling you out.

Sushi Sage: Choose Wisely

21 Feb

Sushi Sage: Choose Wisely

Sushi: it can make or break you.

Choose wisely and you’re looking at great lean protein sources and high fiber menu items: nourishing yourself without breaking the caloric bank. Choose the wrong way and you’re chomping on fried foods and high saturated fat condiments.

If you’re looking for tips on making the right choices at sushi, check out Shape Magazine’s “The Best and Worst Sushi for Weight Loss” – loaded with tips from nutrition experts for toeing the line at sushi joints.

A few tricks to try out at your next sushi outing:

  • Choose soba noodles – made from buckwheat, high in fiber
  • Use chopsticks – your struggles with dexterity will make you eat slower
  • Choose reduced-sodium soy sauce – 25% lower sodium isn’t low-salt, but better than regular
  • Avoid mayo and cream-cheese filled rolls
  • Get brown rice when it’s available
  • Fill up with miso soup – low in calories – but high in salt – starts your meal out right

Leave your next sushi dinner knowing you made the right choices!

Starbucks Chicken Sausage Wrap

15 Feb

Starbucks Chicken Sausage Wrap

If you’re burned out on Starbucks’ higher-fiber, lower-fat Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Sandwiches or the Spinach-Feta Wrap – try their latest hot breakfast offering: Chicken Sausage Breakfast Wrap.

This protein and fiber-packed egg white package has it all: chicken crumbles, zucchini, mushrooms and diced red and yellow peppers melding with egg whites in a whole wheat wrap.

This sodium content of this wrap is a major improvement over the Spinach-Feta Wrap at 700 mg vs. 1,140 mg sodium – by no means a low sodium food – but still, a better flavor profile with about 40% less salt.

One Chicken Sausage Breakfast Wrap has:

  • 300 calories
  • 5 g fiber
  • 14 g protein
  • 700 mg sodium

And don’t forget to download the Starbucks mobile app for your phone – with one of the most easily navigable nutrition information search formats of any restaurant app out there, you’ll always know what you’re getting when you’re eating at Starbucks!

Kentucky Fried Fowl Up

11 Nov

It’s happening again: you’re just trying to watch a football game, and the commercial comes on. You know the one, for Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “Famous Bowls” – now in Cheesy Bacon Bowl flavor and brought to you by the bothersome “We put bacon on it” guy.

Even if you know nothing about nutrition, this can’t be good for you: mashed potatoes layered with gravy and fried chicken, smothered in cheese, ladled with bacon – and then for good measure, sprinkled with corn. Corn?

It would be nice to know exactly how bad this is for you – but due to KFC’s cherry-picking items they decide to post nutrition info about – this information is not readily available.

The one bowl which KFC does divulge its disturbing stats for is the “KFC Famous Bowls® – Mashed Potato with Gravy”, clocking in at 680 calories (41% of which are from fat), 31 grams of fat and 2130 mg of sodium (aka 93% of your daily sodium allotment).

As every cloud does have a silver lining, in this case it would be fiber: the KFC Mashed Potato with Gravy Bowl does have 6 grams of fiber, making it far and away the highest fiber option on the KFC menu. Due in part, of course, to the fact that it’s the only thing there with any vegetables in it. (That aren’t of the deep fried potato variety that is.)

To learn more about pretending that fast food is good for you, visit KFC’s parent company Yum Brand’s “Keep it Balanced” website, where you can learn all about incorporating fried chicken, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s, A&W and WingStreet into your balanced lifestyle.


McDonald’s New Happy Meals – Any Healthier?

16 Sep

McDonald’s New Happy Meals – Any Healthier?

McDonald’s rolls out their new healthier Happy Meals today. The skinny-sized Happy Meals will come now standard with apple slices, a smaller french fry serving and less calories:

  • French fry serving is down to 1.1 ounces from 2.4 ounces for a total of 100 french fry calories
  • Apple dippers drop from 3.1 to 1.2 ounces and now contain no added sugars or dipping sauces
  • 20% reduction in calories per Happy Meal, equating to about 600 calories per meal

There’s no net boost in fiber in these revised meals. According to McDonald’s own nutrition information publications, even the original 3.1 ounce size of apple slices was so small it contained “0″ grams of dietary fiber! If you actually eat a whole, medium-sized apple with skin, you would get 4.4 grams of dietary fiber.

Why the push to improve processed kiddie food?

The happier Happy Meals are certainly a move in the right direction. Now let’s get to work on what the parents are ordering!