Fat stacks up in cafe menu

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS - SUSIE BUR­RELL Susie Bur­rell is a di­eti­tian. Fol­low her on Twit­ter @Susieb­diet.

CHANCES are that when you visit your favourite cafe, you are think­ing that it is a much health­ier op­tion than grab­bing a fast food meal.

But the truth is, while there may be some “healthy” cafe op­tions, when it comes to calo­ries, fats and sug­ars, there are plenty to be found in some of our favourite cafe menu items.

A Big Mac and fries con­tains 900 calo­ries and al­most 50g of fat — way too much for a sin­gle meal. But what’s shock­ing is your cafe break­fast might ac­tu­ally be worse.

With the av­er­age Aus­tralian adult need­ing just 1200–1600 calo­ries each day, calo­rie con­trol is im­por­tant and, with the most pop­u­lar cafe menu choices con­tain­ing 600–800 calo­ries per serve, it is easy to overdo things. Here are some of the worst of­fend­ers:

EGGS BENE­DICT

A stan­dard serve of eggs bene and a side of ba­con con­tains more than 1300 calo­ries and 100g of fat in a sin­gle serve thanks to the creamy sauce and fat used in cooking. If you con­sider that a cheese­burger and fries con­tains half as much fat and fewer calo­ries, it is dif­fi­cult to ar­gue that the cafe break­fast is bet­ter nu­tri­tion­ally.

ACAI BOWL

A pop­u­lar break­fast item, with its fresh fruit and grains, it is no won­der that this vis­ually ap­peal­ing break­fast would be con­sid­ered healthy. When you con­sider though that the av­er­age acai bowl con­tains 60–80g of sug­ars thanks to the mix of juice and con­cen­trated fruit syrup, an acai is not much bet­ter than a hot fudge sun­dae and its 60-plus grams of sug­ars. CHICKEN CAE­SAR SALAD

The word salad lures us in and in­deed if you make a salad at home for your­self and use lighter dress­ings, lean protein and small amounts of cheese and creamy sauces you can make a healthy ver­sion of a cae­sar salad. The mix of high fat in­gre­di­ents mean that the av­er­age cae­sar salad con­tains at least 30g of fat — more than that of a plain steak sand­wich or ham­burger and salad.

CHICKEN & AVO WRAP

If you are look­ing for a yummy lunch or­der at the lo­cal cafe you can be sure to find a schnitty sand­wich or wrap on the menu. With avo, cheese and mayo there are few lunches as tasty as a good old chicken schnitzel sand­wich. Un­for­tu­nately, it is the mix of fried meat and the high fat mix of cheese, sauce and avo that can mean your healthy chicken sand­wich can con­tain more than 800 calo­ries and 50g of fat or the equiv­a­lent of a cou­ple of slices of thick pizza.

SMOOTH­IES

If you made a smoothie at home with a lit­tle milk, yo­ghurt and fresh fruit, your smoothie would con­tain a re­spectable 200–300 calo­ries and 20–30g of sug­ars. On the other hand, a large acai or mango smoothie that com­bines honey, milk, yo­ghurt and fruit can give as much as 60–80g of sug­ars or 12–16 tea­spoons per serve — more than a flavoured milk­shake, fruit juice or even a small soft drink.

PHOTO: IS­TOCK

CHOOSE WISELY: There are plenty of calo­ries, fats and sug­ars on our favourite cafe menus.

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