6 Hidden Fat Traps on Any Restaurant Menu
We found out what "velvety" really means—and where there's unexpected salt and calories, too.
Restaurant menu on table
Sneaky Salads
You order the dressing on the side, but this calorie-saving tactic can backfire. Chefs like to keep dressing to a minimum—too much can make a salad wilty, says Mike Schwartz, chef instructor for the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and founder of BAO Food and Drink. A restaurant's usual drizzle of salad dressing will barely cover the bottom of a 4-ounce ramekin, though, and that looks cheap, so Schwartz says chefs will almost always send out extra. Take two large spoonfuls and mix in with your greens, then set it out of reach. Picking around deep-fried tortilla strips, Chinese noodles and croutons are no-brainers, but those other crunchy bits (like sunflower seeds and banana chips,) are often roasted in oil or salt. Even good-for-you ingredients can multiply at restaurants. Tracy Gensler, RD, a Best Life nutritionist, says she recently measured out a cup and a quarter of walnuts in her take-out dinner salad—that's a full cup more than a typical serving size, and an extra 980 calories, just nuts.