Proper nutrition is all about making better choices. Every choice Is not going to be perfect but we should strive to pick something a little better, even if it is just the lesser of two evils.Today, we are going to talk about how to make substitutions, specifically when it comes to dining out. Based on what we know about processed foods it should be obvious that cooking for yourself is always the better option when it comes to health. But, home cooking is not always an option and we are left to navigate the minefield of choices that is dining out. So, if we must get a meal from outside our own kitchen then let’s be prepared to make a better choice.
We can look at this is two ways:
1. Choose a better restaurant
2. Choose a better option at a restaurant
Choosing a better restaurant
When you are deciding where to go, take these factors into consideration.
• What are their core values?
Does this restaurant pride itself on convenience, low price, decadence, and quantity? OR Do they pride themselves on quality, health, sustainability, and variety?
If you have a minute, compare these two restaurants on opposite sides of the food spectrum.
• Do they have some healthier options?
Most restaurants, with any sort of consideration for health, have a “Light” menu.
Choosing a better option
Some choices are straight forward. “I’m going to get a salad instead of this double bacon cheeseburger”. That one is obvious, but sometimes you are faced with a bunch of options that seem generally comparable. So here is a list of things to take into consideration when trying to make a better choice:
• Processing (chicken breast vs. chicken nuggets)
• Vegetable content (salad vs. the sad flap of iceberg lettuce on a burger)
• Dairy, wheat, and sugar (we will learn why we want to minimize these in later lessons)
• Calories (you want to aim for 300-500 calories per meal instead of 500-1000)