MoneySaving Poll: Should restaurant menus tell you the calories?

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  • catalina66
    catalina66 Posts: 653 Forumite
    edited 5 January 2015 at 6:32PM
    I would like to see nutritional information available in restaurants...but not necessarily on the 'standard' menu...


    Also, I would prefer it not to be restricted to calories....some people are losing weight by controlling the amount of fat in their diet.


    I definitely want the information to be 'per portion' rather than per 100g! If someone is watching their weight then they want to know how many calories/grams of fat is on their plate...they do NOT want to have to ask how large the portion is and then round this up/down to the nearest 100g and then multiply by the given calorific/fat value!

    Agree totally ... calories and fat, and info per portion, would be ideal. Very simple and effective way of doing things.
  • catalina66
    catalina66 Posts: 653 Forumite
    wiggers wrote: »
    If you're counting calories you're doing it wrong. Calories are simply a measure of the heat from the exothermic reaction with oxygen, has very little to do with how your body metabolises different food types. Carbohydrates and fats are metabolised in different ways and both can give you energy. (cf ATP production) Carbs require insulin to be processed and excess consumption thereof leads to diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. For over 150yrs it has been known that a Low-Carb-High-Fat diet (LCHF) is by far the most healthy. It is only the lobbying by the food processors that is preventing this message from being heard, spreading the 'fat is bad' lie. Also, Big Pharma love to sell drugs for problems created by consumption of high-carb processed food!

    I understood it was as simple as balancing calories in/out, which I've found works. 17 lbs off so far through doing that. And, yes, less of the bad fats and more protein (combined with exercise, that builds muscle, which metabolises faster), is good to do.
  • SailorSam
    SailorSam Posts: 22,754
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    How many of us have been to one of those Chinese Banquets, or perhaps a Carvery where you can keep on going back for as much as you can force down your throat. You know it's bad, you know you're going to have to loosen your belt on the way home. But do you think of the calories ? Do you h*ll.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024
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    beebware wrote: »
    Well, I did have a "low-calorie" pizza (basically, a pizza with a whole in the middle replaced with just green salad) and I knew the "exact" count of calories and fat in it (and when you've got a target to keep to, you try and account for all of it). I did try somewhere else, but all it'll take is a cheese sauce or cooking in oil and -bang-... Plus I only really had a selection of 7 places as it was November and everywhere else was take-out and the hotel didn't allow hot-food in (even though it's restaurant was never open).

    If your diet's on such a knife edge that a few grams of cheese, or a spoon of oil's going to tip you over the edge, you're probably sailing a bit close to the wind anyway, which suggests it's going to be a struggle to sustain for a lifetime.

    In any case, I've yet to be in any way convinced that the calorie counts on these things are remotely accurate. The way I see it, the day I get a big mac that looks like the one in the picture is the day I get one that has the listed number of calories...

    And even if the food looks right, there's no way of knowing if the restaurant have run out of the "healthy" oil they use to make the salad dressing and have used "normal" oil instead....or if they've changed tomato suppliers and the new ones have twice as much sugar as the listed ones...

    Seriously, the better option is to just choose something that's likely to be healthy and eat that...and accept that if there are variations, it's better to have these on a healthy meal than an unhealthy one.
  • Bettie
    Bettie Posts: 1,223
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    How would the restaurant know how many calories each dish contains? in my experience no two chefs cook the same dish the same. ( talking about the places that cook fresh )
  • billshep
    billshep Posts: 58
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    edited 6 January 2015 at 2:44PM
    I think we should be very careful of over-regulation.

    What surely nobody wants is for small eateries serving good home cooked food to be forced out of business because you can't easily calculate the calories in the 'daily special' etc.

    I have no idea if it's possible to calculate (with sufficient accuracy) the calories in a recipe if you are using locally sourced, non-homogeneous produce, but I know I'd rather eat that than processed food with all the nutritional information on the box!

    Oh and there's this nice article in the Independent yesterday on why calorie counting doesn't tell the whole story http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/forget-everything-you-think-you-know-about-calories-9958419.html.
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,749
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    Idiophreak wrote: »
    .

    In any case, I've yet to be in any way convinced that the calorie counts on these things are remotely accurate. The way I see it, the day I get a big mac that looks like the one in the picture is the day I get one that has the listed number of calories...
    .

    But you at least know that a Big Mac is roughly 300 calories less than a Big Tasty and this enables you to make a more informed choice when ordering. even if they vary slightly it is still clearer which are the lower calorie options.
    I didn't realise until McDonalds started showing calories on the menu that a Big Mac isn't really any worse for you than a Trsco ham and cheese sandwich for example.
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024
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    jon81uk wrote: »
    But you at least know that a Big Mac is roughly 300 calories less than a Big Tasty and this enables you to make a more informed choice when ordering. even if they vary slightly it is still clearer which are the lower calorie options.
    I didn't realise until McDonalds started showing calories on the menu that a Big Mac isn't really any worse for you than a Trsco ham and cheese sandwich for example.

    ...but again...most people would be broadly aware that a smaller burger's likely to be better for them than a larger burger...

    And most people would be broadly aware that having a leafy salad or some sushi would be better for them than either a burger or a ham and cheese sandwich.

    I'm being difficult, of course...there are obvious examples where people might make the wrong decision...for instance a lot of the salads served up in fast food places are markedly worse for you, statistically, than their "unhealthy" options...Now, you could argue that people making the positive choice to eat a salad is more important than the actual numbers involved...but the bigger picture is that people are aware that if they go to Maccy Ds, they're probably not going to have the most nutritionally sound meal of their lives...
  • Diychap
    Diychap Posts: 21 Forumite
    catalina66 wrote: »
    I'm not getting why people are reading into this that it's complicated and miserable. It's really fun and simple. Not miserable at all. Successfully lost 17 lbs so far, and I track in chocolate daily, lol. MyFitnessPal and Polar activity tracker watch; really easy to do. It's fine!

    Well said, totally agree. Myfitnesspal app on iPhone makes calorie counting easy and a bit of a game.
    The easiest and healthiest eating regime I've found is the 5:2 diet, see that Horizon program by Michael Mosley, very interesting, especially the bit about cancer. So if your limited to 500 or 600 calories it would be useful to know which meal on a menu you could choose to eat, and hence still go out and socialise.
    If people don't want to consider calories then just ignore it, no?
  • Murphybear
    Murphybear Posts: 7,248
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    I'd much rather they had the carbohydrate value. Eating too many carbs piles the weight on for some people.
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