Dining out can be a great break from your own cooking repertoire. However for those who are trying to be conscious about their health, navigating a standard restaurant menu can be challenging to do.
A tip for healthy eaters at restaurants is to choose menu items that are high in nutrients and low in potentially unhealthy carbs and fats. Here are some standard healthy choices and how to make sure they're prepared in a healthy fashion.
Salads are a great starter to your meal, since they can contain many fruits and vegetables with a healthy variety of antioxidants. If you opt for a salad, make sure to choose dressings with healthy oils such as olive or poppyseed oil, rather than hydrogenated corn oils.
Soups can be hit or miss when it comes to their nutritional content. Broth-based soups are a good item to try, with rich vegetable broths that are high in nutrients. Be careful when choosing high-fat cream-based broths, however.
Chicken is another go-to for healthy restaurant items. There are several ways to prepare chicken without a lot of added fat. Look for cuts of meat that are lean, such as chicken breasts and white meat. The cooking method also matters; roasted chicken is likely to be flavorful with lots of spices and not too much added fat or sugar. Grilled chicken with vegetables is another good, low-calorie suggestion. By choosing a lean chicken dish at a restaurant, you can get the benefits of added protein without sacrificing your health to the extras.
Another healthy entree choice is fish. Salmon, in particular, can be a great choice for its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish that is broiled or baked may contain the lowest amount of added fats.
If you can't help but get dessert when eating out, look for fruit. While you'll still be getting a jolt of added sugar, you can also count on the antioxidants of the fruit to add something to your diet. Complemented with honey instead of processed sugar, this can be a reasonably healthy choice.
In short, you can't always tell if a menu item is healthy just by the ingredients listed. You'll also have to consider the method of preparation, the portion sizes, and the proportion of the ingredients listed. Being a healthy eater at restaurants can be tricky, but it can pay off for your long term health. To learn more, contact a restaurant like Cochran's Cafeteria.