Denny’s dubs itself “America’s Diner”. While diners serve traditional fare, it is usually not considered the most healthful. Let’s just say there’s a lot of grease to go around. But you’ve got to give the people what they want, and Denny’s is now offering its “Fit Fare” menu for the health minded consumer.
We decided to take a look at the Fit Fare Veggie Skillet, which seems like a good choice, based on its description:
Seasoned red-skinned potatoes, fire roasted peppers and onions, mushrooms and broccoli on a hot sizzlin’ skillet topped with two egg whites scrambled with spinach and grape tomatoes.
The dish comes with a side of salsa. It’s got a variety of colored vegetables and clocks in at a respectable 330 calories, with 20 grams of protein. So far, so good.
Here’s where the picture starts to change. These 330 calories contain 1450 grams of sodium. If you are over 45 years old, have high blood pressure, or are African American, that number is almost 100% of the maximum recommended intake for an entire day!
But wait, there’s more: the ingredient lists. We’d like to show you the full ingredients list, but unfortunately Denny’s does not think it is important enough for people to see. Or maybe Denny’s knows that the in addition to the healthy veggies listed, various additives and flavor enhancers are used as well.
We called up Denny’s 1-800 number and spoke with Margaret Grant, RD, Denny’s chief nutritionist, who was very friendly. She said there is too much information to make it practical to put ingredient lists on the company website. Really?
Grant offered to look up the information for us, and we spent about 10 minutes on the phone as she individually retrieved the ingredients and sub-ingredients using Denny’ internal systems:
Red skinned potatoes, Fajita blend (fire roasted bell peppers, fire roasted onions, fire roasted green peppers, salt, spices, modified food starch, garlic, onion, soy oil, maltodextrin, sunflower oil), mushrooms, broccoli, grape tomatoes, spinach, garlic, liquid margarine (soybean oil, vegetable mono and di-glycerides, soy lecithin, sodium benzoate, citric acid, artificial flavor), annatto (food coloring), salt.
Doesn’t seem as appetizing now does it?
Denny’s prides itself on being “Open, Honest & Friendly since 1953″. Where does obfuscating ingredient information work into that tagline?