Most foods at restaurants in the United States are not that healthy. They are packed mostly with processed food, butter and any unhealthy ingredients with adequate calories to cover at least two to three full meals. But despite that, it is possible to eat both delicious and healthy restaurant foods.
And since eating in restaurants or fast food chains is one of the people’s guilty pleasures, we have put together a guide on smart restaurant dining. It ranges from healthy meals with varieties of food that is heavy on vegetables and fruits, light on sugar and fat to fast-food meals that are better at the least than other alternatives if you are eating at McDonald’s.
Every meal here, whether it is lunch or dinner, stays under 700 calories or at least one-third of what normal adults should consume in a day. Most meals in the United States are well under the limit. Breakfasts have a much lower number at 500 calories per day. We will start with the good news: The food dining scene in the United States has been steadily improving.
Indication of progress
Fast food and healthy is no longer an oxymoron. Do not be confused by Five Guys, Chipotle and other fast food chains that serve delicious food than Burger King or McDonald’s, but still do not focus on the health aspect of the meal. There are another, but smaller groups of restaurants that offer menus that are both healthy and delicious.
It includes Lyfe Kitchen, Chop’t, Maoz Vegetarian, Souplantation restaurant and Native Foods Cafe. They provide meals that are delicious and have a reasonable amount of calories and good amount of nutrients. We hope that these restaurants will continue to spread their beyond the metro areas because a lot of Americans are starting to look for ways to eat healthily but don’t sacrifice the taste of the food.
Leading the way
The selling point of most healthy restaurants is the freshness of their ingredients. The sandwich box does not have an expiration date because they are sold only on the same day they are made. The food that is not sold is offered to different charities at the end of the day. But when it comes to health, the great thing about these healthy restaurants is the portion control.
Most of the restaurant’s menus stay under 750 calories. Most sandwiches are not exactly healthy, but most of these restaurants use whole-grain bread and combine them with lean protein like fish or chicken and uses dressings like avocado, salsa or olive oil — no mayonnaise or cheese. The result is that not only people will get fewer calories, unnecessary sugar and saturated fat; people can also get the nutrients needed by their bodies like vitamins and fibers.
Each meal has at least 13 grams of fibers – half of what most nutritionists say our body needed every day – as well as 3 grams of saturated or healthy fat. Overall, these meals are aimed to avoid unnecessary sugars and to keep the saturated fat less than 8 grams and add food that is rich in nutrients and fibers from different food groups.
Want to know how much calories each person needs to take each day? Visit https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-calories-per-day.
Hack the menu
One of the most useful tricks when eating out is, do not eat the entire portion. If you are not careful with what you eat, you can end up finishing a whole day’s worth of calories in one meal. So it is essential not to take the restaurant’s portion size literally.
Take for example a pizza. It does not have to be for your health, especially if you choose a thin crust pizza top with vegetables instead of red meat and don’t forget to keep it at two or three slices per day. Inflation of the food portion is not limited to pizza; that is why it is important to split your entrees.
If you are eating alone, you need to consider setting aside a small portion of food as soon as the food comes, to avoid completion compulsion. You have to save foods for later or if you are already a full or no better alternative for left over foods, you donate it to homeless shelters. Eating portions that your body doesn’t need, it is just like throwing away foods.
Beverages are sometimes the enemy
Sweetened drinks, especially sodas add a lot of calories without making you full. Not a lot of people realize how many calories are in a glass of sweetened drinks. We are not only talking about soda but also orange juice (they have at least 170 calories and 37 grams of sugar, more or less nine teaspoons). If you drink more water during your meal, you can eat more calories because you will not spend all your required calories on beverages.