You know your burger chain has made it big when you're required to post calorie counts on your menu. Shake Shack began listing calorie counts in their New York City locations on September 11 in compliance with a New York City Health Code regulation that requires restaurants with at least 15 locations to display calorie counts on menus within the city.
'health' on Serious Eats
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comes this infographic, "The New (Ab)Normal," showing how much average portion sizes for burgers, fries, and soda have increased since the 1950s.
Is President Obama sending the wrong message whenever he eats unhealthful food on camera, such as a hamburger or hot dog? Washington, DC-based organization Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) says yes, and it's raising awareness about the issue.
You probably aren't eating burgers for their healthful properties, but in case you're wondering where to get the (relatively) healthiest and unhealthiest burgers from chain restaurants, Yahoo! Health recently published this list of the nutritionally best and worst burgers in ten categories each. Click through their slideshow for full descriptions, or check out this quick list:
A while back, the USDA released its newest version of the food pyramid—except it wasn't a pyramid at all. The new "MyPlate" icon demonstrated what the USDA considers the appropriate balance of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and proteins for your diet, in a handy plate-shaped icon. Recently, another version of the plate emerged. The Harvard School of Public Health just released its Healthy Eating Plate, which they say "offers more specific and accurate recommendations...than MyPlate."
Earlier this week the internet was ablaze with articles about what Michelle Obama ate for lunch on Monday. Why? Because it was a burger. ...Okay, it was a burger with fries, a chocolate shake, and a Diet Coke from Shake Shack in Washington, D.C. And it added up to 1,700 calories, although we don't know how much of it she ate. Since she's an advocate for the Let's Move campaign to promote healthy eating and exercise for kids, ordering such a meal more than raised some eyebrows. Some nutritionists criticized her, some supported her, and most people probably asked, "Who cares?"
As a promoter of all things peanut, I am constantly frustrated by people who think they can't possibly be good for you. Many assume that other nuts, especially almonds, are "better for you," which just isn't true. Find out how they compare in fat and protein. You might be surprised.
I tweeted a link on Monday about the recent USDA warning against eating too much pizza, but this story is important enough for a post here on Slice proper. In a New York magazine article, Jane Black sifts through the agency's Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 and notices that it specifically calls out pizza as a big 'ol fat problem.
My wife and I have spent the last 24 hours preparing for the effects of Hurricane Earl on the little former sheep farmhouse on Martha's Vineyard that we've been coming to together ever since we met more than 32 years ago. We are fully PB&J equipped for Hurricane Earl, but given my predilection for inhaling entire jars of peanut butter with a spoon, I am worried about the effects of Hurricane Earl on my serious diet.
The massive egg recall—the largest one in U.S. history—has been tough and confusing for egg fans. Is that carton in your fridge full of risky ones? Should you avoid over-easy and poached preparations? (Salmonella enteritidis can be killed by heating the egg throughout to 160°F.) Are you changing your egg-eating habits? Are you eating fewer eggs? »
The Guardian has the story, noticing that a string of three reports, from 2001, 2003, and 2004, all led by Silvano Gallus of the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche in Milan, shows that habitually eating pizza may be healthier than you think. (I can't wait until my wife reads this.)
Recently, one of the leading debates in food policy pertains to the impact that food advertising has on young children. A recent study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University demonstrated that children are more likely to desire foods that are advertised with familiar cartoon characters—but these foods are often less healthy than alternatives. McDonald's has come under fire for using similar advertising techniques in their Happy Meals, which experts say are often far too caloric and fattening for small children. So how can change be implemented?
Yesterday we rented a car (like most Manhattanites, we don't own one) and drove from New York City to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on our way to Martha's Vineyard. Usually this trek takes five or six hours, about half of which I devote to eating. What kind of eating, you might ask. The self-destructive, mindless kind, I'm sorry to say. The kind that forces me to offer up the following rhetorical question: Do car calories count?
Ah, middle school dates. Walking around the mall, chaste hand-holding, sharing one straw for a supersize cup of cola. Somehow, sharing one drinking straw was what made it extra romantic. As the years have gone by, a habit of sharing straws—and the possibly germy consequences—might have stuck. Or maybe you've wisely chosen to avoid a side of mono with your milkshake. When you're out with your friends, do you adhere to a one-drinking-straw-per-drinker rule, or do you throw germ caution to the wind and share? Take the poll! »
What do you crave when you're sick? For me, it's a blast from my childhood in the form of a bowl of Cream of Wheat. I knew I was really sick because no other food sounded good.
This week I've finally gotten back to doing what works for me: portion control, portion control, and portion control, along with a side order of Ed Levine-approved exercise (biking, swimming, squashing). Yup, I'm back to Julia Child mode, eating everything in moderation. A few fried clams, oysters, and scallops; two small, small pieces of pie; even half a snack-size McFlurry with Reese's mix-ins. The key words here are few, small, and half. I genuinely believe that the weight control answer for me lies in those three words.
It turns out that my serious "diet" is actually an amalgam of all four definitions of "diet" on merriam-webster.com. "Diet" does relate to the food I regularly consume, to the kind of habitual nourishment I receive from, to the kind and amount of food I've prescribed myself to try to bring my weight under control. But it's in the derivation of the word, which dates back to the thirteenth century, that I found the true meaning of my serious diet.
In a world where it seems like foods are in a neverending cycle of being praised, then panned, how do nuts keep winding up on top?
At parties where seriously delicious things are being served I have a tendency to let my guard down. When my guard is down my self control mechanism can be temporarily disabled without me even realizing it. When that mechanism is temporarily disabled all my strategies and tactics I usually employ at parties to limit my caloric intake can be compromised. But if I was just really feeling good and enjoying myself for this one night, maybe those chicken wings and bellinis weren't empty calories?