Due to today’s fast-paced lifestyle and having less time to gather around the family kitchen table, it has become virtually impossible to find a healthy and nutritious eating out regime tailored to one’s needs and requirements. However, there is hope for those truly concerned with their health: following are several workable solutions to the challenge of finding healthy, nutritious and inexpensive meals in today’s restaurants.
Eating out at fast-food restaurants is the most popular, convenient and possibly the least healthy and nutritious of all eating out choices. Consumers often find only excess calories, sodium and plenty of fat on their menus. Eventually, there is almost a guarantee of ending up with various physical and emotional issues later on.
Healthy and nutritious eating out at popular fast-food restaurants is rarely ever healthy or nutritious; however, by “choosing wisely” even a necessary fast-food visit can still be managed. Indeed, healthy eating out at fast-food restaurants is the most popular and convenient way to eat out; although, it’s the least healthy of all.
Nutritious and healthy eating out at fast-food places means taking pre-planning measures, having discipline and making wise choices. One can begin planning ahead by asking for the restaurant’s nutritional chart or by downloading one from the Internet. In order to have a healthy and nutritious eating out experience, a brief review of the chart will enable one to see which foods on the menu are the closest to acceptable according to the consumer’s health needs.
For example, using the American Heart Association guidelines, Burger King is one place that is not very heart-friendly. An order of a cheese Double Whopper, medium-sized fries and a small piece of apple pie provides consumers with more saturated fat than they should safely eat in two days. It bears repeating: healthy and nutritious eating out at fast-food places will take pre-planning measures, discipline and making wise choices.
Navigating fast-food eating places is not impossible when looking for healthy and nutritious eating out food choices, but it is a challenge. Today, many such places have been forced to opt for healthy menus such as: baked potatoes, chili beans, salads, grilled chicken, beef, and low-fat cheeses. However, it is in the area of the most seemingly healthy food, the salad, that consumers end up being tripped up the most and face the greatest healthy eating out challenge.
There is nothing unhealthy about a salad; however, salads inadvertently become a loaded health problem waiting to happen. Instead of vinegar and a dribble of olive oil the consumer is confronted by several high-fat content salad dressings served not with a tablespoon but with a soup ladle.
Salt/fat-laden toppings such as cheese, bacon and pickles, add to the later weight gain and possible increase in blood pressure. And this is without the deep-fried croutons. Navigating fast-food eating places is not impossible when looking for healthy, nutritious eating out food choices, but it remains a challenge.
Additional nutritious eating out tips to consider will help ensure better health in the long-run and doesn’t always have to mean fast-food restaurants.
* It is always better to avoid those huge-sized portions which many restaurants take pride in. Either that or eat half the portion and ask the waiter to store the food in a take-home container for later.
* Avoid adding more salt to food.
* Exercise self-control when at buffets. Even the salad bar can be detrimental to your health with excess fat toppings.
* Order pickles, onions, lettuce, tomatoes or mustard to add flavor.
* Order single-patty hamburgers without mayo or cheese.
* Dress a salad with grilled chicken strips, vinegar and olive oil.
* Order a baked potato and not French fries.
The challenge of healthy and nutritious eating out is almost insurmountable but not impossible. However, it will take self-discipline, effort and commitment to a healthy, nutritional eating lifestyle which today is almost non-existent. Today, with more healthy eating out and flavorable options being made available to the public and nutritional menus catering to the health conscious, the ordeal of trying to find healthy and nutritious meals at restaurants has been greatly lessened.
Written by Beverly Anne Sanchez, March 18, 2011