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At our class entitled “Menu Messages” on August 5th we learned that many sauces on a restaurant menu actually have mayonnaise as a base. Mayonnaise is made from egg yolk with oil whipped into it. Salt and vinegar are also added. We made mayonnaise during this class. It was a great illustration of the amount of fat in the form of oil that is in a “ramekin” or small dish of sauce (about ¼ to 1/3 cup volume) when it is served in a restaurant. We used about 150 milliliters of oil for one egg yolk in making the mayonnaise. This is the equivalent of about one thousand (1000) calories! A great source of hidden calories!
The type of fat used in these sauces is also important to consider. Your primary cooking oils should be canola and olive oils. These oils are high in phytochemicals and healthy fats which can help to lower blood cholesterol and protect against cancer. Extra-virgin olive oil is the least processed and most flavorful type of oil.
Sauces that use a mayonnaise-like base include: aioli, tartar, hollandaise, béarnaise and rémoulade. Some of these, such as hollandaise, use a different type of fat such as butter rather than oil. This is still high in caloric value.
Descriptions of food on a menu that may be a clue to high in fat and calories include: crispy, pan-fried, deep fried, fried, flash-fried, tempura, dipped in batter, most sauces, creamy, and crusted which tends to be fried.
We also discussed the mercury-level in fish. Check out this website to find out which fish are lowest in mercury. http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp
Mercury is an element which can contaminate food and cause undesirable health effects.
These are some more sources of the story of mercury contamination.
Print the pdf labeled “Menu Messages” to read more about the laws and terminology of restaurant menus. It is under"Menu" at our Diet and Exercise Tips.
What can I do?