We’veall been there before, haven’t we? Heading out for a meal, intentions of eating healthily but succumbing to the overwhelming images and descriptions placed in a restaurant menu.
Partially, this may be down to lack of knowledge in deciphering what is healthy and those options that are not. Essentially, however, it comes down to willpower and common-sense.
Harvesteris leading the way in an attempt to provide nutritional information as a standard requirement in all menus. This is fantastic; you can easily see the calories of each meal, starter, side or desert. Admittedly, it doesn’t note how much of each essential nutrient (Fat, Carbohydrates, Protein) each meal
constitutes but this is where common-sense is a prevailing factor. If a menu has categories with ‘Pasta’, ‘Fish’, ‘Pizza’, ‘Burgers’ and ‘Meat’ then it is
obvious that you should look for a meal from the categories that would normally appear in your diet such as Fish. You then get the continuing benefits of
eating healthily with the added bonus of enjoying a night out. For example, you may opt for ‘Simply Chicken’ – a succulent flame-grilled chicken breast served
with jacket potato and garden peas which yields 560kcal. Alternatively you may opt for the flame-grilled salmon fillet with a side of baby potatoes and green
beans which yields 490kcal.
Who doesn’t like Nandos? And in small portions it can be made healthy. For example, opting for the quarter chicken with spicy rice would provide a reasonably
healthy meal. Excluding things such as creamy mash, chips and garlic bread is a necessity since these all yield greater fat contents (and not the fats we desire!).
On the Nandos website they even provide example meal options for those who like to have the healthier option. They suggest having the ‘Couscous salad with
chicken and a Portobello mushroom’ or the ‘Mushroom and Halloumi wrap with mixed salad’ is another option.
Express, like Harvester, is also making an attempt to advocate a healthier menu. They are now offering ‘Leggera Pizzas’ which all yield less than 500
calories, 30% less than their average standard pizza, and thus are an obvious alternative when dining here.
Providing nutritional information isn’t a law across restaurants in the UK, yet. However those that are driven and motivated to live a consistent and healthy lifestyle will strive to ensure they do not indulge in the cheesecake, the cheese and bacon burger or the all-too-unhealthy curries. Thus the message is clear and
simple: when eating out, think. Healthy eating should be part of your lifestyle and something you enjoy doing. This shouldn’t change because you are in a restaurant.