If you knew how many calories were in the burger, fries, or shake you were planning on eating, would you still order them?
California and New York City passed legislation requiring chain restaurants to post nutrition information on a menu board for every customer to see. Today Yum Brands, parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut said they will voluntarily post nutrition information in all their restaurants.
Currently most chains have nutrition info available on their websites, but of course that means you have to want to see what you’re getting nutritionally.
Check this out:
Taco Bell has a very cool nutrition calculator on their website at: http://www.yum.com/nutrition/menu.asp?brandID_Abbr=5_TB
A 7-layer burrito without sour cream (I really don’t like sour cream, and they allow you to customize the add-ons) has 450 calories, 15 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat (the artery-clogging kind), 1330mg sodium, 9 grams fiber, and 16 grams protein.
A fresco-style 7-layer bean burrito (they don’t even give you the option of sour cream) has 380 calories, 8 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 1190mg sodium, 9 grams fiber, and 13 grams protein. By ordering the fresco burrito I save calories, fat, saturated fat and sodium – all nutrients that we should try and reduce. I keep the fiber, and 9 grams is actually a good amount for a meal, considering most Americans only get a total of 15 grams of fiber per day (the recommended fiber total is 25-30 grams per day). There’s a bit less protein, but most of us get more protein per day than we need, anyway.
It only took me a couple of minutes to access this information on the website, but if I was standing in line at Taco Bell I could have read the nutrient content of the foods right along with the prices.
Until the nutrition info regularly is posted everywhere (they have until 2011), utilize the Web before you go out to eat to help make healthier choices.
Read ’em and weep.