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Fast Food Packs More Calories Than You Think

11:28 AM, Jan 3, 2008   |    comments
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By Marianne Favro KNTV/NBC News Channel Burgers, burritos, beverages -- we're grabbing food on the run more than ever. However, have you considered how many calories you're consuming? Take for example a Chipotle Grill chicken burrito. It contains 1179 calories. That's a lot, especially when you consider the government recommends a 35 year old woman who exercises less than 30 minutes a day consume 1800 calories and 60 grams of fat a day. A man the same age with the same activity level should eat no more than 2400 calories and 80 grams of fat. San Jose State nutrition professor Dr. Marjorie Freedman warns dieters to watch for hidden calories in beverages. A Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Mood drink contains 1170. You're better off ordering a smaller "Peach Perfection". If you want a full fat lunch, try the Carl's Junior Six Dollar Burger. It has 1520 calories and a whopping 111 grams of fat. A Quiznos Classic Italian sandwich has even more calories and 92 grams of fat -- more than your allotment for the entire day, but the Chicken Bourbon sandwich has only 260 calories. Freedman says don't assume salads are the ticket to a slimmer you. A Cobb salad from Specialty's contains more than 1,000 calories and 75 grams of fat. Also, watch out for deceptive dishes like pork lo mein from PF Chang's. It may have veggies, but that's not all. "Somebody may often think this is a healthy meal but this pork lo mein has almost 2,000 calories," Dr. Freedman warned. Even some kids meals are high in calories. Look at the size of the mac and cheese kids dish from Macaroni Grill -- it has more than 1,200 calories and 62 fat grams. Freedman said pizza can be a good selection if you choose wisely. A slice of Pizza Hut's Thin n' Crispy supreme has 230 calories, but a slice of Meat Lovers Double Deep Dish has more than double the calories. To cut calories, find out how many are in your favorite foods. Most places offer nutrition information either in the restaurant or online Follow a few simple rules: "Always get dressing on side, eliminate high fat items like dressings that are put on sandwiches, mayo on sandwiches, high fat meat items like sausage on pizza," explained Dr. Freedman. Freedman says your main entree should only be about the size of your fist, so size up your next meal to make sure you won't go up a size. Also, stick with water. There are a lot of hidden calories in beverages. Case in point: a Starbucks Venti Eggnog Latte has 630 calories.

NBC News Channel

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