Thursday 15 November 2012

Rose Reisman's Choose It and Lose It

Finished November 14
Rose Reisman's Choose It and Lose It: the road map to healthier eating at your favourite Canadian restaurants by Rose Reisman

I liked that this book gathered information from a number of restaurants in one spot, and I liked the number of restaurants included. It gave good overviews with history of the restaurants and one other nugget of information. Sometimes this other information was general information on that's restaurants offerings in terms of healthiness, sometimes trivia, sometimes something more specific.
For each restaurant, there was a main "choose it" option, and a main "lose it" option, with three additional items under each category. Sometimes these include a children's menu choice, sometimes an appetizer, sometimes a "snack", sometimes another meal.  For a couple of restaurants with broader menus, there was a double set of entries, giving two main "choose it" and "lose it" items with extra choices under the second mains. (Essentially the restaurant had double the information)
As a person who can't eat cheese, I was surprised to find so many of the "choose it" choices were cheesy. For some restaurants, all of them were, which wasn't personally helpful.
One other thing that I didn't like was that sometimes one of the additional "lose it" choices was healthier than the "choose it" choice. And sometimes the category didn't make sense. A case in point is MacDonald's. The main "choose it" choice is the Big Mac at 540 calories, 29 grams of fat (10 saturated) and 1020 mg of sodium, with the main "lose it" choice as the Angus Deluxe at 780 calories, 47 grams of fat (17 saturated) and 1660 mg sodium. No arguments there. But an additional "lose it" choice is the McChicken Sandwich at 470 calories, 27 grams of fat (5 saturated) and 790 mg sodium. That would be my sandwich choice if I went (because it has no cheese!) and it is healthier than the Big Mac, which is a "choose it". Then I noticed it is listed as a "snack". The "choose it" snack is a cheeseburger. That makes no sense. The McChicken is a regular sandwich choice on their menu, unlike a cheeseburger, and I would have put it in the same category as a Big Mac in terms of choices. Yet it is not recommended, while the Big Mac is. So now I am wondering about the alternatives not listed here (the Quarter Pounder, the Fish Fillet, etc). Are they better or worse than the Big Mac? Now I have to go to McDonald's website to check. So, this entry actually didn't help me other than it made me go looking for more information. (Big Xtra, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Fish Fillet are all better than the Big Mac, with the Fish Fillet the best at just 410 calories, 20 g fat, and 580 mg sodium).
So the problem now is that, knowing this, I now feel the need to do this with every restaurant since obviously only some choices are listed for each one and they may not be the best choice at that establishment. For me, this book raised more questions than it answered, and didn't always lead to the best choice. Too bad, because I've loved (and bought) all her cookbooks and was really looking forward to this one. I guess it is good that it raises the idea of some seemingly healthy choices being less good than they appear, and gets people looking for more information, but it certainly wouldn't be my final stop on that search for information.

No comments:

Post a Comment