I am pleased that chain restaurants in New York are required to provide calorie counts for menu items.
I think it’s great, frankly, and I appreciate how easy it makes to eliminate the clearly unhealthy item from your order.
But what about those instances where the calorie count is moderate? There are those times when you know that a menu item is likely good for you (it’s a salad, after all!), but you don’t know how good.
I love Le Pain Quotidien, and its “whole food”-oriented menu consisting primarily of organic ingredients.
Clearly, they are a health-oriented dining establishment — which is why I think that they should provide more than mere calorie counts for menu items.
Building a balanced diet isn’t just a numbers game. And even if it was, the numbers wouldn’t be calorie counts alone.
To make the smartest choices, it is also useful to know the proportionate shares of fat (good and bad), carbohydrates (how many grams of fiber?) and protein.
I asked my waiter if this information was available, and he said that it was not. I suppose that if I wanted to spend the time, I could ask what the measurements of each ingredient are and Google the nutritional values of each of those items. However, I feel that in a health-oriented establishment, this information should be readily available to consumers, either at point-of-sale, or online.
Many already do provide this information, but I’d like to see more restaurants get on the bandwagon. There is value to providing more information.
Because sometimes the value of the healthiest menu option is greater than the sum of its parts.