Reporting Natalie Nyhus
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When you go to a restaurant, you wouldn’t sit there and order a stick of butter. You’re too smart for that, and you know there would be lots of calories and fat and few nutrients.
But many of the foods we order at restaurants have more fat than a whole stick of butter, which contains 92 grams of fat. That’s more than the max amount recommended for an entire day on a healthy diet.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting fat intake to 20-35 percent of your daily calories.
So if you have 2,000 calories in a day, your safe zone for fat grams is 44 to 78.
Some fat-laden menu items probably won’t surprise you. Burgers, for instance, might be OK on their own, but the size of many restaurant burgers and the amount of toppings push them over the top. A serving of meat is generally considered to be 3 ounces, or roughly the size of a deck of cards. Hardee’s Monster Thickburger, in comparison, is two-thirds of a pound and has 92 grams of fat.
One culprit is fried chicken. If you order a Popeye’s meal with three pieces of chicken, biscuit and a side, you are almost up to 100 grams of fat.
Fish is often called brain food, but make sure you’re smart about how it’s being prepared before you order. So even though nutritionists always say eat fish a couple times a week, you can be sure they aren’t talking about Applebee’s New England Fish & Chips, which comes with 138 grams of fat. That’s one and a half sticks of butter, or enough fat for three days.
Another hidden pitfall for fat is salad. Beware of piling on too many toppings like bacon, fried chicken, tortilla chips, creamy dressings and cheese. IHOP serves a crispy chicken salad that has all of the above. It clocks in at 95 grams of fat. Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad is even worse, with 99 grams of fat.
Sometimes, even appetizer plates can give you more fat than you need in an entire day. Take quesadillas, for example. All that cheese, sour cream and guacamole really adds up. And if the chicken is deep fried, that’s even more trouble. Plus the tortillas can be toasted or fried in butter. Ruby Tuesday’s Baja Chicken Quesadilla has 95 grams of fat.