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But you can still use this new info on restaurant menus to your advantage. First, know how many calories you should be eating in a day, says Stoler, who recommends using the free online calculator offered by Many Tools. Then tailor your choices to fit your nutritional needs.
Also know that calorie counts aren’t always clear. In certain restaurants where there are many options for things like toppings (think Chipotle or a fast-food pizza chain), the calories can vary widely, making it confusing as to what you’re actually getting, says Taub-Dix. In that case, you may be able to go online to the restaurant’s website, which will allow you to build your meal and customize the calories for a more accurate picture.
Also, if you’re curious about the protein or fat in a particular dish, don’t be afraid to ask for additional nutritional info. By law, these chain restaurants have to supply it.
Bottom line, says Stoler: “Food can and should be enjoyable, and healthy foods taste good. Now consumers will have access to more information to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”