Oman health: Eat healthy while eating out

Lifestyle Sunday 24/July/2016 17:50 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman health: Eat healthy while eating out

When it comes to eating out those who are very calorie conscious their diet plan goes for a toss. But going to a restaurant doesn’t always mean eating unhealthy foods. You can still enjoy your meal if you follow few simple tips. For those who frequently eat out will know that these days almost every restaurant in town have added healthier options to their regular menus. All you need to do is to figure them out and ask for them. Here are few important strategies that you can follow.
Enquire: While you are in a restaurant or a café it might be possible that healthy choices are not mentioned in the menu list. It is important for you to enquire while placing your orders. It is perfectly fine to ask for changes and request for the food to be made according to your taste and preferences. For example, if a particular item is served as fried as per the menu you can ask for a grilled version. For accompaniments you can also ask for mashed potatoes instead of fried ones or even for an extra portion of salad. Ask for more servings of vegetables and you can also offer to pay. Healthy substitutions like skinless chicken that’s broiled instead of fried or low-fat milk for your coffee, instead of cream are good substitutes. In short you can have your food prepared in your way and in most restaurants they are very cooperative. In fact you can also enquire on how the food was prepared if you aren’t sure by seeing the menu list.
Start with salad: Before you start your main course make sure to order a big bowl of salad. Salads are filling and quite low on calories and curbs your hunger pang. But avoid salads that are creamy like Ceasar, potato, and pasta salads. Apart from mayonnaise and cheese, some of the salads have fried croutons as toppings thus adding on to the calories. Try to swap in raw vegetables and if you wish can also include fruits and nuts. For those who like to have salad dips ask the restaurant people to serve the dip separately. Dip your empty fork into the dressing and then add it to your salad.
Be aware of the portion size: While there is a standard portion size in almost all the restaurants in town, some do offer a bigger portion size. So while ordering ensure that you know about it. Ordering in excess often leads to eating more than one should or even encourages the trend of carrying it home. Either way it isn’t ideal.
Read before you eat: In most restaurants they have a brief description underneath each dish which we often overlook. Look out for words like creamy, deep fried, stuffed, buttered, and crisp. Make sure you do not add them to your menu. Ask for grilled, baked, broiled, poached, roasted, or steamed.
Stop munching: Indian restaurants mostly offer a complimentary basket of papads along with pickle and other condiments. As you wait for your meals to arrive you tend to munch on these to satisfy your instant hunger pangs. Papads, whether roasted or fried also add on to calories. A single medium size papad when roasted has 33 calories. So try to avoid going on a munching spree. You might end up adding on to the calories much before you start your meal.
Avoid the fancy beverages: Fancy juices and mocktails are the highlight of any café and restaurant these days. Choose drinks that are freshly made with no extra sugar added. For natural sweetness you can always ask for a dash of honey.
Check for high-sodium foods: Restaurant foods can be very high in sodium, or salt. Avoid food that are pickled, smoked, or in broth. Also say a complete no to MSG or mono sodium glutamate that is mostly found in Chinese cuisine. Ask your food to be prepared without added salt or MSG.
Healthy Chinese food: If you are having Chinese cuisine avoid fried wontons, spring rolls, thick egg drop soups, fried noodles, and rice. Instead choose stir-fried chicken or any other vegetable dishes along with steamed rice.
Healthy Indian food: If you are eating in an Indian joint then say no to all fried starters and creamy curries laden with clarified butter or oil. Instead use tandoori, kebabs, grilled dishes and plain rotis in place of butter naans and paranthas.
Healthy Fast food: Go for grilled chicken burgers, and baked chips instead of fried burgers and French fries. Skip the colas and ask for a bottle of water. If having pizza order a thin crust, ask for more vegetable toppings and less cheese. Try to restrict your portion to one or two slices. If you are still hungry eat salads.
-swati@timesofoman.com

In Muscat Eat At :

Eat Smart Restaurants
Al Khoud: + 968 2481 5234
Bousher: + 968 2422 8222
Ruwi: + 968 2484 4444

SideWalk Cafe
Al Qurum Complex, Next to Al Fair
and China Town: + 968 9701 6284