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Making Counting Calories CountIn what may well be the beginning of a nationwide trend, a federal court recently upheld a New York City regulation that requires chain restaurants to publish the calorie content of foods on their menus and menu boards. In response, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has put out a set of guidelines and tips to help Americans who eat out frequently to use calorie information wisely. It is no secret that most of us consumers are fairly bad at estimating the calorie content of restaurant food. For example, which has more calories — a tuna salad sandwich or a roast beef with mustard? Believe it or not, the average tuna fish salad has twice the number of calories of the average roast beef sandwich with mustard.
According to the ADA, counting calories, whether in your own kitchen or at a restaurant, is important to maintaining a healthy weight. Consuming excess calories can lead to obesity, a major risk factor for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, conditions which affect about a quarter of all Americans.
"It is easy to underestimate the number of calories in food items, especially in a restaurant where you didn't prepare the meal yourself," commented Ann Albright, PhD, President of Health Care & Education at the ADA. "Since Americans are eating out more, they are receiving more of their calories via restaurant meals. People need to be well informed to make healthier choices."
According to the ADA, the first step to making healthy choices is knowing how many calories a day to consume. While the daily calorie ranges below are a general guide, you should consult your health care provider about specific dietary goals.
April 30, 2008
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