13 October 2015
Nutritionist Shane Bilsborough takes us on a tour of Melbourne’s restaurants. Some popular food from different cultures is high in fat and kilojoules. There are, however, some healthy alternatives.
Shane: Melbourne, the multicultural capital of Australia. How lucky are we to have an endless choice of ethnic [sic] restaurants right here on our doorstep. Our choice comes down to what we reckon tastes good and of course, the better it tastes, the more we eat.
Now, that’s what I call service. But if we’re not preparing it ourselves, we really have no way of knowing how many kilojoules (kJ) or how much fat we’re consuming. Now, I’m not for one minute saying don’t dine out - that’s ridiculous, but what I’m saying it’s all about smart ordering. So, at the end of the meal you’re not left with a massive bill on your fat budget. Thanks Kitty. Not bad; not bad at all.
Now, my mates here at Tokyo Teppanyaki in Chapel Street, South Yarra are famous for their Japanese cuisine. The Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world and most theories put this down to their low fat diet of fish, rice and soy products.
Shane: On the Japanese menu, not much is really bad in terms of fat. The tempura range would be the highest. A serving of Tempura prawn and vegetables is about 1,344kJ with 12grams (g) of fat. Sashimi and sushi are great choices. A serving of tuna sashimi is about 500kJ with just 0.2g of fat, beautiful.
Indian, hmmm. Butter chicken, my favourite and everyone’s favourite, but you know what? It’s got a pretty bad reputation and rightly so. Yep, this Butter chicken has 42g fat and 2,600kJ, but it’s not all bad news. If you crave a curry, try the potato and pea option. It’s a much better choice with 600kJ and 12g of fat.
Chinese food is a great family favourite, but there’s one dish that will absolutely blow your budget. Sorry guys, it’s Peking duck. It’s not only expensive to buy, but it’s also really expensive on the fat counter. Ready for it? Around 55g of fat and 2,730kJ. Ouch, that hurts.
The Beef and black bean sauce is a great choice for main course. It’s about 880kJ and 14g of fat. Top this off with a bowl of plain rice, instead of the fried variety, and this will only set you back 750kJ and less than 1gram of fat.
Now, I reckon that most of you would think that Thai food is pretty healthy and low in fat. Well, think again. Those curries are dynamite. Take the Green chicken curry, for example, yep, there are 39g of fat in there and 2,500kJ. Think about ordering the soup, the Tom yum soup with prawns tastes a treat and is just 480kJ and around 3g of fat.
Italiano, please I can hear you say, we’ve got to have Italian and you can. Look for tomato-based sauces. Something like Spaghetti Napolitana. It’s still about 2,600kJ, but only 5g of fat. The fattening Fettuccine carbonara is a definite no go, with a whopping 4,000kJ and 60g of fat. As for your Supreme pizza, sorry, average serving 1,440kJ and 15g of fat.
You know guys, I’ve got a real passion for Greek. Ef-hari-sto (thank you). How can you resist Mama’s cooking? If Greek gets you going, then stay clear of the infamous island dish, Kalitsounia, which weighs in at around 1,450kJ and 15g of fat. Also, go easy on the yummy saganaki. This fried cheese will cost deeply at 1,000kJ and up to 25g of fat. But there are lots of excellent choices in Greek dishes. For starters, the dips are delightful, especially the Tzatziki. Only 84kJ are served and around 2g of fat. The stuffed peppers are only 5g of fat and just 250kJ. For a magnificent main course, try one of the grilled dishes, like the lamb or even the prawns. With a side salad, it’s really a great meal and it comes in at just 8g of fat and only 600kJ.
And if you’ve overindulged, you can always burn it off Greek style.
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