Finding a nutrition guide for your favorite restaurant is easier than you think. Dining out is one of the first things you sacrifice as you begin a new nutrition plan. It is just too difficult to monitor your daily calorie and fat intake when someone else is preparing your meal behind closed doors – and this can feel especially risky during pregnancy. Fortunately, the plethora of nutritional information for popular restaurants available online is fantastic, and what you cannot find online, most restaurants are happy to share over the phone. Honestly, would you trust a restaurant who would not provide this information? Yuck!
Use a Calorie Calculator for Your Favorite Restaurant
Set aside some time to peruse your local bookstore’s health section. There are a lot of different calorie counting books to choose from so it is best to start your mission with a specific goal in mind. In this case, your goal is finding the book with the most restaurant menu reprints. This is a fantastic resource to keep handy because, even if your favorite restaurant is not listed, the chances of a similar restaurant with comparable menu items being listed are high. You can also do online searches for your favorite restaurant’s website or your favorite dish’s nutritional information.
Nutrition Questions To Ask Your Favorite Restaurant
If you have no luck finding nutritional information online, your next step is to call your favorite restaurant – or even stop in for a snack! If you are calling a restaurant with a large menu, begin by asking for nutritional information for individual dishes instead of for the entire menu. If this is your favorite restaurant, there are most likely less than 5 dishes you regularly order, so start with those.
Another thing to remember is that nutritional information can be altered during food preparation. For instance, a grilled chicken sandwich can be healthy, but what if the chicken is grilled in the same space as the fatty hamburgers? Things like this add unwanted calories and fat, so it is important to ask if meat and poultry share a grill. Also, is the restaurant frying with animal fat or vegetable oil? Some places “season” foods fried in vegetable oil with animal fat. Another tricky hidden fat in restaurant meals is the oil added to pasta. Although your pasta might be sticky, you can ask for little to no oil in your dish – that way, you also know your pasta has most likely been cooked to order.
Hidden Restaurant Nutrition Dangers
One of the biggest risks you take when eating at a restaurant is your consumption of trans fats. Trans fats are most commonly found in fried foods or foods containing partially hydrogenated oils. During dieting and pregnancy, it is especially important to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. Also, if you are pregnant, make sure to ask restaurants about possible hidden fish products containing mercury, artificial sweeteners containing harmful chemicals, and caffeine.
Once you get a sense of your favorite restaurant’s food preparation and nutritional information, you will feel much more comfortable dining out. Following your nutritional plan and enjoying a meal out is totally possible. Happy healthy dining!