Eating out can be a challenge when you're trying to eat healthy, especially when dining at restaurants that don't specialize in healthy eating. As a nutritionist, I'm often asked how to navigate menus and make healthy choices when eating out. In this blog post, we'll explore some tips for making the most nutritious choices at restaurants and how to find nutritionist-approved restaurants near you.
The first step to eating healthy when dining out is to do some research beforehand. Many restaurants have their menus online, so take some time to look up the menu and nutrition information. Check for healthier options such as grilled or baked dishes, salads, and soups that are lower in sodium and fat. Look for dishes that are made with fresh, whole ingredients rather than processed foods or fried options.
When you arrive at the restaurant, don't be afraid to ask your server for recommendations or for modifications to dishes. Many restaurants are happy to accommodate special dietary needs or preferences. Ask for dressings, sauces, and condiments on the side so you can control the amount you consume. Avoid dishes that are fried, creamy, or high in sodium and opt for dishes that are steamed, grilled, or baked.
If you're looking for restaurants that specialize in healthy eating, there are many options available. Look for restaurants that use fresh, whole ingredients and offer healthy options such as salads, grain bowls, and lean proteins.
Some restaurants even have a nutritionist on staff who can help guide you towards healthy choices.
One great option for nutritionist-approved restaurants is True Food Kitchen. Their menu is based on the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet and features dishes that are made with whole, nutrient-dense ingredients. Another option is Seasons 52, which offers seasonal and fresh dishes that are under 500 calories.
If you're looking for a more casual dining experience, Sweetgreen is a great option. They specialize in customizable salads and grain bowls made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Chipotle is another popular option for healthy fast food, offering customizable bowls made with whole ingredients such as brown rice, grilled chicken, and vegetables.
In addition to these restaurant options, many cities have local health food stores and cafes that offer healthy meal options. Look for places that offer fresh juices, smoothies, and salads made with organic and locally-sourced ingredients.
In conclusion, eating out doesn't have to derail your healthy eating goals. By doing some research beforehand, asking for modifications, and choosing restaurants that specialize in healthy eating, you can make nutritious choices while still enjoying the dining out experience.
If you need additional support and guidance in your journey towards a healthier lifestyle, I'm here to help. Contact me, Cara Axelrod Orlan, MS, RD, LD/N, at 954-850-2926 or Cara@yourdietitianforlife.com to schedule your free initial consultation and start your journey towards a healthy and happy life.