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Smart Choices Cut Calories The Gourmet Way

By Richard Mccallum     Jan 28, 2010 in Food
With sound judgement and discerning taste buds an average eater can enjoy most dishes from fast food fare to gourmet delights while still consuming less salt and food additives and still shaving calories from their daily diet.
The North American food buyer should seriously question the calorie information given on many frozen food products and in the popular chain restaurants. A recent US study of ten of the most popular fast food eateries and 29 frozen food products found that they contained an average 18% more calories than what was listed in the packaging or advertising. But the researchers are not accusing the food companies and restaurants of using culinary trickery to fool their customers." It would never occur to me that the calories posted on a menu boards are anything close to reality",says Marion Nestle a professor of nutrition at NYU. Different value amounts of calories can be chalked up to a variety of reasons such as portion sizes, different ingredients and testing methods. One of the remarkable exceptions was Domino's large thin crust cheese pizza which contained one third less than the advertised 180 calories per serving. It is within this slim piece of Italian comfort food that much calorie avoiding wisdom can be found.OK, let's face it if the bowling gang is chowing down at Bar-B-Barn after a sweaty night of pin spilling and pint swallowing than for sure it's going to be a calorie gaining soiree on the hog-farm. Gourmet dining is not about the cost of the meal , it is about appreciating ingredients within the simple spectrum of that food's true taste;a discerning diner has within their power to simply choose nutritious choices in almost every eatery they frequent. Most waiters,cooks and chefs are happy to inform the customer of what dishes may contain and if the request is politely directed many are only happy to help. Let's all hop down to a Virtual Steakhouse so to illustrat this simple gourmet philosophy. Tell them that you have calorie concerns and order half servings of deep fried dishes, sauces, and starches. It 's easy to cut down on starches and oils by limiting yourself to a single serving of bread with only a quarter pad or no butter. Begin your meal with soup and a salad as they aid easy digestion and help cut costly calories.Try a low sodium bisque with 8 ounce green salad and no more than a tablespoon and 1/2 of simple herb infused oil and vinegar dressing.If you add croutons four are better than a dozen in this instance. Sure,the new york strip looks nice but instead opt for the 6 oz salmon steak with maple glaze,and saffron rice- not fries. Your heart will thank you for it! Don't forget dessert; try fresh melon or other fruit salads with a scoop of organic ice cream or lemon sherbet it easily trumps that delicious but calorie heavy cheesecake or pie. Now-since you've been such a calorie smart smart diner why not reward yourself with a shot of killer espresso and chilled Benedictine-! Bon Appetite!
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