How to Spot and Skip Hidden Restaurant Calories

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Think you’re eating healthy when you order a salad as your entree or choose the side of vegetables over French fries while dining out?  Not so fast.

Hidden in the recipes of some supposed super foods are enough calories, salt and sugar to make even a bacon-wrapped Twinkie blush.

Dave Zinczenko, author of the best-selling series Eat This, Not That and ABC News’ nutrition and wellness editor, appeared on Good Morning America Wednesday and revealed the worst offenders of seemingly healthy foods that, in reality, will not help you slim your waistline.

Read below to see what dishes will help you save on calories.

Dave Zinczenko’s ‘Eat It to Beat It‘ Picks

1. Salad


California Pizza Kitchen Waldorf Salad

1,290 calories, 84g fat

The calories in this salad are the equivalent of eating six corn dogs.

‘Eat It to Beat It’ Salad Pick

  •  California Pizza Kitchen Half Caesar Salad

250 calories, 20g of  fat

You save 1,040 calories with this menu pick.

2. Smoothie

Jamba Juice Strawberry Surf Rider (large “power” size)

640 calories, 1,39g sugar

This smoothie contains as much sugar as eight candy necklaces.

‘Eat It to Beat It’ Smoothie Pick

  •  Jamba Juice Strawberry Whirl Smoothie (regular size)

380 calories, 80g sugar, 2g protein

You save 59g of sugar with this menu pick.

3. Fish

Cheesecake Factory Miso Salmon

1,670 calories, 39g saturated fat

This entree has as many calories as 10 individual, 1-ounce bags of Cheetos.

‘Eat It to Beat It’ Fish Pick

  •  Cheesecake Factory Grilled Salmon

710 calories, 11g saturated fat

You save 960 calories with this menu pick.

4. Vegetables.

PF Chang’s Crispy Green Beans (with sauce)

1,205 calories, 103  fat

This veggie option has as many calories as eight bowls of Fruit Loops cereal.

‘Eat It to Beat It’ Vegetables Pick

  • PF Chang’s Garlic Snap Peas (large size)

200 calories, 8g fat

You save 1,005 calories with this menu pick.

The Cheesecake Factory, CPK and Jamba Juice told ABC News they offer a variety of options, including healthy choices, on their menus. Read full statements from the companies below.

Statement from the Cheesecake Factory Chief Culinary Officer Donald C. Moore III:

“With more than 250 menu items, the Cheesecake Factory has always been about choices.  Many of our guests come in and want to celebrate and not be concerned with calories.  Others want to share their dish, and we love it when guests share – that’s a great sign that our portions are generous – and a large percentage of our guests take home leftovers for lunch the next day.

For our calorie- conscious guests we have our award-winning SkinnyLicious Menu featuring more than 50 delicious choices under 590 calories, which is actually larger than many restaurants entire menus.

Like our entire menu, every dish on our SkinnyLicious Menu is made fresh with high-quality ingredients and has the same signature rich taste that you would expect from the Cheesecake Factory.  We’ve truly redefined what ‘lower calorie’ tastes like.”


Statement from Jamba Juice:

At Jamba Juice we pride ourselves on providing a variety of better-for-you whole fruit smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices.  We understand the importance of a balanced diet and provide options to satisfy each individual customer.

We have worked closely with expert dietitians to create healthy options like the Fruit & Veggie line of smoothies that provide 3 full servings of fruits and vegetables in each 16-ounce size, all for under 250 calories that have no added sugars, artificial flavors or preservatives.

Additionally, our Jamba Kids meal provides up to two and a half fruit or vegetable servings in each smoothie, all for under 200 calories.


Statement from California Pizza Kitchen SVP Culinary Innovation Brian Sullivan:

“We strive to offer our guests variety to fit their dietary needs and have a range of menu items under 650 calories, including the Classic Cesar, Roasted Vegetable and Chinese Chicken salads. We also offer a new lite adventures menu, which offers a number of lower calorie options, including the quinoa and arugula salad and shrimp scampi zucchini fettuccini.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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