This is legit a true story.
I recently went home for a mini holiday and we decided to have breakfast at a restaurant. I decided to go full on with eggs, bacon, fries the works. My sister on the other hand decided on the healthier option which was eggs benedict with green veggies, couscous and more yummy healthiness.
On top of her eggs however was a dressing (not even lightly drizzled) visibly on her eggs, and what made it worse it was a thick, butter (and probably cream) based dressing.
To make matters even worse, the waiter didn’t ask if she wanted the dressing and nowhere on the menu did it mention that it comes with the dressing.
Sadly this happens daily without you realising that you compromise your good habits with just that one setback.
What we need to keep in mind is that a restaurant is still a business; it has to sell the food it presents not only in taste but visually as well. And although they do not do it on purpose, these are some of the things they do daily that can set you back on your healthy journey.
Added oil, butter, cream and salt
Butter makes everything better and frying gives everything life. Food becomes visibly good looking if its fried especially if its deep fried (think of those chicken strips) and if a sauce or cream is drizzled on the food. Creams in soups and sauces as a topping is another hidden ingredient where you think your soup is better but the cream and buttered bread makes it high in fat.
The supersized trend
This is not only seen in fast food places. And with portions already way too big, makes the calories even more. A lot of the time it is how much is put on one food item as well. For example a plain burger with lettuce, tomato and one sauce is ok; But the burger with cheese, bacon, hash brown and ham in one? plus the added 3 sauces? It doesn’t have to be all on one food item.
Yes, sugar is used to enhance flavour in food as well. If its glazed or honey is used, best believe there is added sugar in that food item.
But all is not lost, after recovering from this upset both my sister and I will keep the following in mind when it comes to restaurant dining
- Ask your waiter how it is prepared. Most menus tell you what the meal is served with, some do not and you can ask them what is being used and what it is served with and if there is any extra sides and dressings on what you order.
- Switch your sides. Your side do not have to be that extra starch. Some places allow you to split your fries with a salad (no dressing obviously) or completely replace your fries with vegetables instead. When it comes to the dressing, ask for it on the side.
- Know the lingo. Words to be aware of and try to avoid are fried, baked (unless it strictly says oven baked), dipped, battered and glazed. These normally come with extra fats that you are not aware of. Look for words like boil, oven baked, grilled or steamed to be safe.
I know it is impossible to ask the food industry to change their food preparation methods to healthier ones, and there has been big improvements made already in most large restaurant food chains when it come to healthier options.
So it really is up to us to be informed to make sure we don’t eat melted butter on our healthy poached eggs 🙂