Eating out these days isn’t just about picking the right restaurant. At least, it isn’t if you’re conscious of your health. Most modern restaurant dishes are loaded with fat, salt and sugar that not only isn‘t really required and is often hidden, but which also poses unseen risks to our health and well being. And it’s not simply a case of picking a healthy dish of the menu- some of the most ‘healthy’ sounding dishes are actually the worst culprits.
So, tell me more.
Of course, not all fat, sugar and salt is unnecessary to the dish or even harmful if taken in moderation. Unfortunately, however, many modern meals- and restaurants and food delivery services are the worst at this feature far too much of these ingredients, often ‘hidden’ in much the same way that spinach disappears entirely in a fruit smoothie, lurking merely to pull you in and entrap you into eating more and more of the food there. Once you become aware of it, the world of food delivery can seem like a minefield between preservatives, sweeteners, poor quality fats and additives; it’s difficult to know how to ever eat out again.
It’s not impossible to eat at a restaurant and eat ‘cleanly’.
Despite this disheartening feeling, you can eat out and still make good food choices. Remember that everything about restaurants- from the decor to the food delivery speed- is designed to entice you. You will need a little willpower.
Signs of a good restaurant for clean eating.
It’s always good for a restaurant to offer a choice. It doesn’t have to be a hugely long menu just one with enough variety to be enticing. You can research menus before hand on the web, or ask for one before committing to being seated, in order to check for healthy selections. Some chains will even give you full nutritional breakdowns so you can plan properly before the meal. Remember that you’re not likely to get ‘clean’ and ‘instant’ together. Good food needs preparation time- slow down and enjoy your night out. There’s no rush. Even if you have food sensitivities, many modern restaurants make a particular effort and maintain food sensitivity friendly kitchens. And don’t be afraid to order something new from a nationality other than your own.
Being a ‘clean’ eater.
Be firm. Don’t be ride- it’s not the waitrons problem to listen to rude obnoxious customers- but be clear in communicating what you need and desire from your food experience. Skip the bread and the drinks menu if you truly want to keep your eating experience clean. Stick to water to drink and you can always ask for crudities- chopped vegetables and a little dip- to replace the bread. A general rule of thumb is that the simpler the dish is to prepare, the less mucked around with it will be- so go for grilled, simple dishes. Avoid sauces and dressings- even the most innocuous sounding are usually sources of hidden sugars and fats. Stick to lean proteins and try for a berry or other fruit desert. If the restaurant serves big portions, ask for a doggy bag.
Being your own best health advocate is as necessary when eating at a restaurant or waiting on a food delivery as it is when cooking at home.