One of the difficulties faced by people who have decided to start eating healthy is the choice of food in cafes and restaurants. There are a lot of reasons to eat out: meeting with friends, having a snack between business meetings, having lunch in a cafeteria at work. But, unlike in the past, when you could have anything, now you have to carefully look through the composition of the dishes. Which rules should you comply with when visiting cafes, if you try to stick to a healthy diet?
The first thing you should check when choosing salads and snacks are the sauces. Trust us, if a salad with fresh cabbage and cucumber is seasoned with mayonnaise, it won’t do any good to your body. Also forget about sausages in salads. Ingredients are always listed on the menu, make sure to read them carefully. The best options of salad dressings for you would be olive oil or natural yogurt. The best choice of ingredients are fresh vegetables, greens, seafood or chicken fillet (without fat batter). Cheese sauces, balsamic cream, mayonnaise, ketchup are not your best companions during the diet.
Soups are probably the safest kind of food for you, as there are not much ways to make a mistake. You can safely eat such dishes are vegetable soups, soups with seafood, fish soups, lean borscht, okroshka. We only recommend to be careful with creamy and cheese soups, as they can be too fat for you because of their composition.
Main dishes and side dishes
When choosing main dish give preference to non-fat types of meat (chicken, turkey, beef, veal), fish and seafood. The best suited dishes for you are stewed or baked ones without any additional sauces and cheese crusts. Well-cooked meat doesn’t need these additives that will only harm your body. As for the side-dishes, you can take grilled vegetables, wild rice, hard pasta, buckwheat noodles. In the evening it is better to limit your meal to just fresh or baked vegetables with lean meat.
Being on a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to completely stop eating sweet food. If you go to a café in the afternoon (not in the evening!), you can have any dessert based on a curd cheese (for example, cheesecake) without any additives like chocolate topping. Desserts with fruits or berries are also good, like fruit salad or baked pear with dried fruits. But you have to avoid heavy foods like chocolate cakes and pastries.
We advise to cook dishes like pasta by yourself to control the ingredients. In cafes and restaurants, they add too much cheese, cream and butter in such dishes, which affect its benefits. Dishes like pizza or sushi are better to be ordered only for a cheat meal.
We also would like to note that healthy lifestyle is very popular nowadays, so you can always find restaurant or a café that serves tasty and healthy food where you won’t have to scrutinize the ingredients on the menu.
Why you shouldn’t eat fast-food
Modern pace of life leaves less and less time for cooking proper healthy food every day. But when doing sports, you are recommended to have meals 5 times a day. There are a lot of ways to optimize and easy up the process of cooking, for example, to plan your meals for a week and cook all the necessary products beforehand, or cooking food in the evening for the next day. But some people turn to other methods, i.e. buying fast food.
Fast food combines both obvious harmful products and relatively harmless at the first sight products that, instead of the expected benefits, only bring harm.
First of all, you should forget about any type of instant noodles, mashed potatoes (which is not recommended by dietitians even when it’s homemade), frozen pancakes, pizzas and other stuff. The problem is not only in the fact that the listed products are not too dietary, but also that they contain a lot of preservatives that allow them to be stored frozen for a long time. And heat treatment, which in this case takes place in several stages, kills all the possible beneficial properties of the products. In other words, you get all the necessary calories, but you practically don’t get any necessary vitamins.
On the other hand, with such food you consume a lot of salt, flavor enhances and so on. But the harmful properties of such fast-food products is pretty obvious, which can’t be said about so-called pseudo-dietary products.
In any supermarket you can find convenience foods that are presented as healthy food. For example, frozen vegetable cutlets, stuffed cabbage or peppers, vegetable stews with chicken in plastic bags, which you can turn into a gourmet dish in just 7 minutes. For example, seafood paella which is cooked in 10 minutes has nothing in common with paella in plastic bag that attracts you with a beautiful picture from the supermarket shelf. You have to understand that you don’t get low price and simplicity in cooking for nothing: you pay for that with practically a full loss of the products’ healthy properties. The promised meat can turn out to be a soy or sub products (not of the best quality). Products undergo additional multi-stage processing and include many additives.
You have probably seen ready-made spice packs for cooking popular dishes like beef stroganoff, baked meat, goulash, spaghetti, etc. The manufacturer promises that you will only have to take meat and cereals, add the package contents and 15-20 minutes later you’ll get a complete dish. Food made with these spices may really be pretty tasty. But on the contrary with the original receipt, it will contain a lot of salt, flavor enhances and preservatives that are responsible for your pleasure with the results. And instead of healthy meal like baked chicken, you’ll get unhealthy one, as in addition to low calories and high protein, there will be a lot of unnecessary elements.
By the way, even oatmeal in plastic bags that are cooked by being put in boiling water for 2 minutes, have nothing in common with oatmeal cooked in a traditional way. In fact, you are not getting whole grains, but oatmeal powder with lots of sugar and flavor enhances, that create that «strawberry flavor». Different breakfasts like cereal won’t give you the necessary satiety feeling, and instead of a carbohydrate supply for the whole day you will feel hungry an hour after breakfast.
So no matter how difficult it is for you to find time for cooking, try to choose natural products and control the compositions of your meals. And the easiest way to do this is to cook the dish yourself.