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Chipotle is Going GMO-Free Because “People Have the Right to Know What’s in Their Food”

Food costs at a restaurant are the most critical to the business’ bottom line. That’s why many restaurants cut corners and you’ll often find their kitchens piled high with nameless, low-quality ingredients to ensure they can mass produce meals at a value while still turning a profit. That’s not how it works at Chipotle though, where they say it’s “worth it to spend a little bit more.”

We spoke with Chris Arnold, PR director for Chipotle Mexican Grill, who told us Chipotle has some of the highest food costs in the restaurant industry. Even still, they are able to “invest more in quality food and still be very profitable.”

chipotle GMO

Chipotle just became the first American restaurant to work toward clearing its menu of all GMO foods, something that will equally drive food costs while improving quality. The company knows there will be cost implications, exactly how much at this time they can’t say, but it’s not uncharted territory for them. “Making decisions that result in higher food costs is nothing new to us,” said Arnold.

The brand was a supporter of Prop 37 last year, the California bill that aimed to require labeling of GMO ingredients on all foods sold in the U.S. It was then that the brand started to hold itself to the same standard it was asking of others. Arnold explained that their first move was purely disclosure, to let their customers know which foods had GMOs.

“We think people have the right to know what’s in their food,” said Arnold.
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The Skinny on Menu Calories: Pros and Cons of Published Calorie Counts

For many healthy-minded consumers, calorie postings on menus and menu boards greatly impact their decision when making food selections. While grabbing food on the go, it’s useful to know how this item will fit into a person’s allotted daily calories. Even though it may not feel like overeating, before you know it, you’ve consumed over half of the recommended daily calories.

fast food

For instance, see the calories in typical menu items. Seeing and internalizing the number of calories allows us to realize that snacks and seemingly healthy foods may, in fact, not be so healthy at all.

  • Medium fries – 380 calories
  • Gourmet cupcake – 300-600 calories
  • Grilled chicken salad with dressing – 400 calories

Our country’s obesity epidemic is growing exponentially much like the waistbands of many Americans. Just twenty years ago, no states had obesity rates above 15 percent. Today, 38 states have obesity rates more than 25 percent and the U.S. national obesity rate is a record 37.5 percent. Americans are eating more of their food outside their homes, whether dining out, purchasing prepared food, or grabbing a vending machine treat.
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5 Ways to Make Your Community a Healthier Place to Call Home

One of my favorite books is The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Author Dan Buettner looks at areas in the world, dubbed Blue Zones, with large populations of people who live past 100.

He’s taken their life lessons to create The Power 9. These nine habits create a “blueprint” to living a longer and healthier life. The interesting thing is none of the people he studied consciously followed these Power 9 or set a goal to live to be 100. They just did. Their lifestyles and communities were set up to make long life possible.

green hands

Would you say the same of yours?

My community is working on it. We are working on taking the Power 9 principles and making Springfield, MO a healthier place to live. There are a lot of exciting ideas floating around, especially after Buettner’s visit to our fair city this month. In his presentations, he gave us examples of work in other towns (and almost the entire state of Iowa) using the Power 9 to create an environment that supports overall healthy and longevity.

Do you want to make your community a healthier place to live? Here are great ways to get started from his talk:
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Sugar is Not the Problem in the Obesity Epidemic, Where you Eat is

Health experts are giving sugar a reprieve in the case against obesity. While sugar and its many processed variations are running amok in the food we eat at home or away, fats, oils, flour and cereal are more to blame for America’s continuous bloat.

Sugars Fats and Oils

According to the CDC, 25.6% of Americans have a BMI greater than thirty, firmly planting them into the obese category. Since we tend to lie about how tall we are and how much we weigh, the figure is probably a bit generous, but it’s a 10.3% increase since 20 years ago, and that’s alarming.

A New York Times article reports that Americans are consuming 448 more daily calories— or 20% more—than they were in 1970. The Department of Agriculture says 242 of those calories are from fats and oils, 167 are from flour and cereal, and only 35 are from sugars.
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“Grease Puck of Dough” is a Better Name for Pizza Hut’s Big Pizza Sliders

Is there anything more American than pizza? Well, specifically, Pizza Hut’s version of the Italian dish? Maybe the only way Pizza Hut could make the famous food more American is make it in a “fun size.” Well, this year, they’ve done just that. Pizza Hut recently introduced Big Pizza Sliders. So what’s the deal? Are they a better option? Or just another fast-food gimmick?

Well, let’s start with the stats. The Big Pizza Sliders are sold as three sliders for $5 or up to 9 sliders for $10. Consumers can mix and match and get up to three combinations of up to three toppings each. They end up being about 3.5 inches in diameter and can range from 230 calories for a plain cheese slider, up to 350 calories for a beef or sausage slider. The fat content ranges from 8-19 grams depending on toppings.
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