Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
With Spring finally on it’s way, very soon, the majority of my day will be spent meeting up and having fun with friends. And I know that’ll only increase as it continues to get warmer. A huge part of hanging out with friends, at least my friends, is food.
Because of this I’ve had to learn to manage eating out with eating healthy. And I gotta tell ya, it isn’t always easy. Until all restaurants start listing nutritional facts and ingredients for all their dishes, eating healthy when eating out is a bit of a guessing game.
But it isn’t impossible. What I want to talk about today, is how to spot unhealthy food on any menu, no matter where you are.
Restaurants love to talk up their meals using flowery adjectives that make your mouth water and your stomach growl. But those same words are the ones you have to look out for. The next time you read a restaurant menu, think of it as a reading comprehension. Focus on what the words mean rather than how they make you, and your stomach, feel. Then, make your decision.
Meaning: Coated with breadcrumbs and then fried
Traditional breadcrumbs contain so much sodium you probably shouldn’t even use them at home. And on top of that, the chicken strips, shrimp or whatever is also gonna be fried too. Hello, fat and clogged arteries…
Alternative: Seasoned, Baked, Broiled
Meaning: Having a pleasingly firm, dry or brittle surface or texture
If you’re tying to eat healthy, you probably avoid deep-fried foods. So don’t let ‘crispy’ foods fool ya. It’s really just another word for deep-fried.
Alternatives: Seasoned, Baked, Broiled
Meaning: Coated in batter and deep fried until crisp
Fried foods are literally hiding everywhere. It’s common knowledge that you should avoid fried foods, so restaurants are getting pretty good at hiding them behind unassuming words 😕 So be on the lookout!
Alternatives: Seasoned, Marinated, Baked
Meaning: Containing large amounts of fat, spices, sugar etc.
This one is a sneaker. I’ve ordered things like salads or grilled meats and been totally pleased with my choice because I didn’t understand the truth about that ‘rich something or the other dressing or sauce’ it was served with. Here’s to never making that mistake again.
Alternatives: Light, Viniagrette, Reduced
Meaning: To spread or apply thickly
Slathered is usually used in reference to butter or spreads on toast and bread. Getting bread at restaurants is an issue on it’s own (one I’m still working on 😳 ) but if you must, be mindful. Ask for your butter/spread on the side or leave it out altogether.
Alternatives: On the side, lightly
These are just five, but there are literally dozens of words you should look out for when pursuing restaurant menus. Do some research before you go out and don’t be afraid to ask your server to explain how something is cooked if you don’t recognize the words.
More Words to Avoid: creamy, cheesy, buttered, au gratin, basted, country style, crunchy, giant, loaded, white sauce, hollandaise
More Healthy Alternatives: roasted, fresh, steamed, stir-fried, red sauce, poached
What about you?
What are some words you’ve found covering for unhealthy foods on restaurant menus? How do you stay healthy when eating out?
Share in the comments below!
More Healthy Eating Tips
p.s. All definitions are courtesy Google
p.p.s. Originally published in April 2014