Restaurants Could Hold the Key to Weight Loss Success, or Failure?
Everybody likes to eat out. The typical American family eats between four and seven meals away from home each week and many experts agree that this is one of the reasons for the obesity epidemic. Meals prepared by a chef or even a fast food restaurant are notoriously high in calories, fat, sugar and salt.
If the meal wasn’t to your liking, you wouldn’t patronize the restaurant in the future, so it’s in their best interest to serve the largest portions that appeal to your innate taste for food bursting with flavor. Meals eaten away from home pack on twice the calories as food you prepare in your own kitchen. When surveyed, chefs agree they could trim the calories and still prepare great tasting food.
Chefs Could Trim 10 to 25 Percent From a Typical Meal
The results of a survey conducted by Penn State researchers demonstrate that there is room to cut calories without sacrificing taste and customer loyalty. 72 percent of the chefs surveyed indicated that they could trim 10 percent of the calories without any difference in meal appeal while 21 percent said they could cut a quarter of the calories with no difference in taste. Considering the number of meals eaten at restaurants each week by the typical patron, this could result in hundreds or thousands of fewer calories and significant weight loss.
Chefs Largely Unaware of Calorie Content
The pressing question is why chefs wouldn’t make changes to reduce the calorie burden of their meals. That question was posed as part of the survey and the researchers found that 7 percent had no idea of the number of calories in their recipes and another 49 percent were only somewhat familiar.
The survey authors concluded "If a large number of chefs don't know the calorie content of their food, they will be limited in their ability to modify what they serve to guests." Chefs indicated they were more than willing to create new recipes with lower calorie counts, but were hesitant to modify their existing signature food items as they feared they may downgrade their reputation.Continued on the next page