Let’s face it, healthy eating has never been more important. Picture: Pexels
Let’s face it, healthy eating has never been more important. Picture: Pexels

4 tips for making healthy choices at a restaurant

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published May 12, 2021

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Let’s face it, healthy eating has never been more important. People are increasingly aware of the importance of choosing the right food, working out and avoiding any sort of junk food.

This has become so important that there have never been more tips and tricks on how to eat healthy when going out or how to find the healthiest meals in a restaurant. We did our research and nutrition experts revealed the below.

Choose veggies for side dishes

Side dishes are another hidden source of calories and fat. Stick with steamed vegetables whenever possible.

Ask the waiter or waitress how the veggies are prepared. If they are fried or cooked with butter, ask if you can get them steamed instead. Most restaurants will have no problem honouring the request.

Pick healthy protein like chicken, turkey, or fish

When in doubt, order a dish with chicken, turkey or fish. Chicken sandwiches at fast food restaurants (minus the sauce and cheese) are a safe bet. And grilled or broiled fish at most larger restaurants are usually healthier options.

Dr David Ludwig, a professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Centre, says you can still enjoy socialising without ruining your good intentions.

In an extract from his book, Always Hungry?, he reveals the best meals to order in a range of restaurants, from Mexican to Asian.

He says the key is not to worry about calories, but to avoid processed carbohydrates and sources of hidden sugar, such as low-fat salad dressing.

Mexican

Deconstructed burrito: All the elements such as beans, chicken, vegetables, and even sour cream and guacamole, but no tortilla wrap. And if you add rice, ask for brown if available.

Chilli or black bean soup: Top with sour cream or cheese for extra flavour if you like.

Guacamole with crudites: Radishes, cucumbers or any other crunchy vegetables are all good choices.

Asian

Curry with tofu, meat, chicken,or fish, but hold the rice or ask for brown.

Vegetable stir-fry and sautéed greens.

Miso or coconut milk-based soup.

Fruit salad for dessert.

If you're eating at a Japanese restaurant, avoid sushi made with sweetened white rice and opt for sashimi instead.

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