Having dinner at your favourite restaurants can be quite an enjoyable and relaxing experience, especially after a long day’s work. However, this activity is commonly challenging for people who aspire to eat healthy. Deciding on healthy foods to eat in a restaurant is not simple for everyone particularly when the menus are filled with delicious and mouth-watering treats. Despite all treats and delicious foods, most restaurants offer some few healthy options which can be noted in their menus. Alternatively, some restaurants have completely separate menus for healthy foods based on the current healthy trends. Five of the most important things to look for in a healthy restaurant menu include:
1. Types of Food
It is important to find the healthiest foods in the menu especially if you intend to maintain a healthy diet. Some of the foods to look out for include:
-Poultry such as chicken or turkey
-Seafood such as fishes, clams, crabs or scallops
-Legumes (lentils or beans). Legumes can be used as a protein substitute instead of meat or other animal products.
The listed animal products have low calories and fat content as long as they have not been dipped in heavy sauces. In line with this, avoid pickled foods, cocktail sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and certain soups.
2. Method of cooking
The method used to cook a certain type of food is critical in determining its value to your healthy lifestyle. Consider foods that have been steamed, poached, boiled, baked or grilled. These cooking methods do not require the use of cooking fats thus reducing your exposure to unnecessary cholesterol. On the same note, avoid foods that have been fried, deep fried, batter fried or creamed. These foods tend to have high calories and fat content and may also be significantly high in sodium content.
Ask for salad instead of soup to reduce your sodium intake. When selecting a salad, choose one with a lot of greens, fruits and vegetables. These ingredients are usually low in fat content thus very healthy. However, you may still have a relatively high fat intake if the salad is dressed with cheese or heavy creams. Instead, dress your salad with lime juice, lemons or a light vinaigrette. Also, avoid taco salads since they have high calorie, fat and sodium content.
A healthy diet does not necessarily mean that you cannot have dessert after your meal. There are various options to choose from including berries or other fresh fruit. These options are high in vitamin content and fiber thus balancing your diet. Avoid cakes, ice cream or sweet pies due to their high calorie content. You can often find a nice desert at a good cafe.
If you ought to have bread before your meal, be sure to have whole-grain bread instead of the white bread and stay away from the butter. Whole-grain bread has high fiber content and has not undergone excessive processing thus maintaining its nutrient content. If possible, skip the bread in general.
If you cannot find any healthy meals on the menu, do not be afraid to ask or request for a specific meal to be made on your behalf. Ask for certain ingredients to be omitted or included in your meal depending on your style.