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How to spot unhealthy food on the restaurant menu

How to spot unhealthy food on the restaurant menu

Look for clues in the menu item name or description.

If any of the words below describe an item on the menu, chances are it’s not the healthiest option:

  • Alfredo – heavy sauce made with heavy cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese
  • Au fromage – with cheese
  • Au gratin – topped with breadcrumbs and/or cheese
  • A la mode
  • Battered – coated in a batter and typically fried
  • Bisque – thick cream soup
  • Bottomless – “never ending”
  • Braised – sauteed in fat
  • Breaded
  • Buttery
  • Cheesy
  • Con queso – with cheese
  • Covered
  • Creamy
  • Crispy – usually means fried
  • Crunchy – usually means fried
  • Covered/loaded
  • Deep fried
  • Fried
  • Hollandaise sauce – heavy sauce made with butter and egg yolks
  • In butter or cream sauce
  • In gravy
  • Loaded
  • Refried – sauteed in lard (as in refried beans)
  • Rich – “high in fat and calories”
  • Sauteed
  • Smothered – generally covered in a heavy sauce
  • Supreme
  • White Sauce – generally a cream sauce

Choose foods that are: baked, broiled, fresh, grilled, poached, roasted, steamed, or stir-fried. These words will generally describe healthier options on the restaurant menu.




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Stephanie Averkamp

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FitnessforWeightLoss.com was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...