If eating a whole food diet at home can be challenging and require advance planning, then eating a whole food diet in a restaurant can be even more of a challenge. At home you can grocery shop consciously and control what you purchase. At a restaurant any and everything is simply there for you to order. Even more dangerously, eating out is usually a social event meaning you will probably be out with other people. Watching all of your friends order burgers and fries can make it even more difficult to avoid ordering something that you will regret later. However, unless you decide to become a hermit chances are you will eat out at least sometimes and these tips will help you to make better choices in restaurants.
First of all, don’t overlook the salad. Salads are the obvious answer for someone trying to eat healthy at a restaurant. However, even with salads there are a few pitfalls to watch out for. Instead of dressing on your salad, ask for oil and vinegar on the side. This allows you to add only what you want and avoids many of the processed chemicals in commercial dressing. Ask for your salad without cheese or croutons if you want to avoid even more potentially processed hazards. Don’t immediately write off other options, either. You may be able to get a reasonably healthy bean or fruit salad, but try to avoid cole slaw with its heavy mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.
If you just can’t stomach the thought of another salad, then you will have to read the menu carefully to find out what else could fit into your diet plan. Of course you can check out the “heart healthy” section of the menu if there is one. If there isn’t one then try for broiled fish or chicken. Avoid pasta dishes and anything that is described as fried, breaded, or served with a sauce.
Although many restaurants make it difficult to eat out and be healthy, it can be done. If all else fails eat your main meal at home and go to the restaurant purely to socialize. Order a small salad or a drink and explain to people that you had a late lunch but wanted to come and enjoy their company.