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Hungry for the Facts

September 22, 2011 by Andrea Godfreyson, Registered Dietitian

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 Ok, I’ll admit it, I sometimes don’t cook supper. I know…the shock, the horror! Even though I love to cook, sometimes I just don’t feel like itor I don’t have the time, or I’m tired... or whatever other excuse comes to mind! After the decision not to cook is made, the decision of what to pick up on my way home from work takes over.

 On days like this I want to find something that will taste good, fill me up, not bust the budget and be reasonably healthy. Even as a dietitian it isn’t always easy to predict how items stack up nutritionally just by reading the menu. I remember being told once that if you are eating Caesar salad in a restaurant, you might as well be eating fries. Fries?!

I guess there can be a lot of fat in the dressing, croutons, cheese and bacon bits but, that was a blow. The bottom line is guessing doesn’t work: you need the facts. The Informed Dining program is a brand new program in BC designed to give you the information you need to make an informed choice at restaurants. It is a voluntary program available to all restaurants in the province.

Restaurants that choose to participate will provide nutrition information for all their standard menu items. They will also provide information on daily calorie and sodium requirements. This information will be available to you before you order so that if you choose to take a look, you can make a more informed choice. Restaurants will be coming on board later this fall so be on the lookout for the Informed Dining logo on menus.

Ask your favourite eatery if they are part of the Informed Dining program. As for me, I love the idea of knowing if my favourite chicken burrito really is as healthy as I think it is with its succulent chicken breast, earthy black beans and loads of crunchy fresh veggies and cilantro. Either way, this might finally solve the mystery of what is in that secret sauce… What’s in your favourite take-away meal?

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