Eating out is a great way to catch up with friends, go on dates, and not have to do the dishes. The drawback is that restaurants often use a lot more salt and fat than you would at home. If you’ve ever seen a restaurant chef salt something, it looks like he or she is making it rain: Salt descends like it’s coming from the heavens, and there’s no doubt that winter is coming.
Why? Restaurants care more about making dishes taste good than they do about your health. Guests are more likely to write positive online reviews or recommend a restaurant to a friend because the food was delicious rather than because of how great you felt the next morning (unless you get food poisoning, but that’s a different story).
When I was on the road for four years as a restaurant inspector, eating multicourse meals several days a week, I immediately felt the effect of too much salt and fat on my body, no matter how good the meal was or how many Michelin stars the restaurant had. I realized that I needed to order wisely or I was going to feel terrible all the time (now, I find and share some of my favorite restaurants around the world on LokaPack).
I found that understanding what was in the food I was ordering gave me a better idea of what my body could handle, and I could make more informed decisions. I think it’s good to know that unless you are going to a health-focused restaurant, you’re already going to be eating more salt, fat, and overall calories than you probably would at home. And that’s OK. You’re going out to have fun and enjoy yourself, but it would be nice to also do that without feeling terrible the next day.
Here are some tips on how to navigate restaurant menus to order the healthier options.