Monday, May 21, 2007

Test Your Calorie Smarts - Part 2

For those of us weight-conscious folks, dining out can easily be a high calorie nightmare. Offerings of lean, low calorie foods seem to be few and far between. In fact it is downright difficult, if not impossible, to choose restaurant foods that are the best calorie bargains.

Are you a calorie-sleuth? Time to step up to the plate. (No pun intended.) Let's see how you do with this quiz*:

1. Which dinner entrée contains the most calories?

a. Grilled Steak Caesar Salad with toast from Applebee's

b. Chicken Pasta with Focaccia Bread Dinner Plate from Shari's

c. Whopper (with cheese and mayo) and medium French fries from Burger King

The Whopper meal, right? Wrong. The Caesar salad wins top honors with 1295 calories, more than the Burger King fare with 1119 calories. The chicken pasta entrée from Shari's comes in lowest at 959 calories.

Moral of the story: Just because it's a salad doesn't mean it's low in calories.

2. Let's try another one. Which one of these has the most calories?

a. South Western Chicken Fajita Salad with Tortilla from IHOP

b. Southwest Philly Roll-up with sour cream, salsa and French fries from Applebee's

c. Chicken Marsala meal from Olive Garden

If you picked b, the Roll-up, congratulations you chose correctly. 2231 calories to be exact. The Fajita Salad placed second with 1090 calories, and the Chicken Marsala the lowest at 973 calories. None of these is a nutritional bargain, though, as all have over half of their calories coming from fat.

3. Which of the following lunch choices would set you back the most calories?

a. Double Meat Steak and Cheese Sub (6 inch) from Subway

b. Deep Dish Meat Lovers Delight Pizza (1 slice) from Sbarro

c. Turkey Ranch Swiss sub (8 inch, no dressing) from Quizno's

The pizza slice, at 780 calories, is the winner here. Next the Quizno's sub at 691 calories with the Subway choice containing the fewest calories at 540.

4. Which of these selections from Nothing But Noodles contains the most calories?

a. Asian Thai Peanut Noodles, ½ bowl

b. Italian Fettuccini Alfredo, ½ bowl

c. American Beef Stroganoff, ½ bowl

This one is easy, right? Winning first place with the highest total is the Alfredo bowl at 723 calories followed by the Asian bowl at 568. The lowest calorie choice among these is the Beef Stroganoff bowl with 508 calories.

5. Got a hankering for something sweet? Which of these wins the top calorie prize?

a. Blueberry scone from Starbuck's

b. Apple pie slice from Shari's

c. Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll

If you chose the Cinnamon Roll, you are right. Coming in at a whopping 813 calories, it's the highest of the bunch. The slice of pie ranks second at 666 calories, the scone lowest at 400 calories.

6. Okay, one last one for all of you chocolate-lovers. Which one of these has the most calories?

a. Triple Chocolate Meltdown from Applebee's

b. Chocolate Thunder from Down Under from Outback Steakhouse

c. Triple Chocolate Cake from Nothing But Noodles

The Outback choice wins hands down at 1220 calories. Unbelievable, isn't it? This is over ½ the daily caloric needs of many adults…contained in just one dessert! (Imagine the calorie total after adding in the rest of the dinner.) Not that the other two choices are much lower. The Applebee's Chocolate Meltdown comes in at 727 calories, and the Nothing but Noodles Chocolate Cake a "mere" 710 calories.

How did you do? Don't despair if your calorie-sleuthing needs some fine tuning, there is help available at This site contains an extensive listing of the nutritional content for many of your favorite restaurant foods. Try consulting it before eating out. Maybe you can plan to share one of those chocolate bombs with a friend or two.

*Source for all calorie counts

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