May 1, 2008

Here are healthiest restaurants. Not! has just published the healthiest Fast-Food Restaurants.

And this tells you how confusing and complex buying food out can be.

The site chose these restaurants the best out of 43 sit-down and 53 fast-service chains:

Noodles & Company
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Au Bon Pain

They eliminated any restaurant that did not provide any nutritional information.

The rest were judged on healthy food preparation; the availability of organic or hormone-free foods; whole grains on the menu; limited or no trans-fats in all dishes; low-sodium options; healthy beverages; and portion control; as well as how easily you can access nutritional information.

Noodles & Company

On the surface -- like a lot of restaurants -- its menu looks reasonable. Lots of vegetables, salads and soups. But try to access nutritional information, and it takes 20 mouse clicks to find the calorie information. And then don't be surprised to find your meal at 1,000 calories or more. The mac and cheese is at least 1,050 itself and the suggested salad adds 350 calories.

Now remember this is the HEALTHIEST restaurant chain out of 96 in America...according to If you are watching your calories Noodles & Company recommend starting with a small order of Pad Thai at 380 calories and adding a small salad at 170 calories (the same as a McDonald's quarter pounder with cheese).

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Keep in mind this is the second healthiest restaurant in the free world. Chipotle does not practice anything close to portion control. Ninety-nine percent of the customers go in to order the huge 13-inch tortillo-wrapped burrito, and through the entire process you are asked over and over, "do you want meat, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, corn salsa, etc." At the end you can have something the size of a yuletide log, and it weighs in at over 1,300 calories. Add chips and you have had all the calories for the day in this one 15-minute meal.

What did like so much about Chipotle: the hormone-free sour cream (at 120 calories).

And by the way, try and find the nutritional information on its site. Good luck, I couldn't. Google found it for me buried deep inside the website.


I'll look at one more...but you know where this is going.

Have just a bagel and cream cheese and you are talking 600 calories. (Remember you could have a large plate full of egg whites, mushrooms, and spinach for less than 200 calories.)

One pumpkin muffin sounds healthy, but it's 530 calories; for ONE muffin.

Good luck finding healthy food in fast-food restaurants. Each restaurant seems to have one item that's less than 300 calories, and they call it the healthy choice. After that, all the items will take you to the dark side.

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