Making Healthier Dining Easier! Is it possible?
Yes, although is is far more complicated than ingredients lists, and nutritional labelling… Eating healthier is as much to do with what a person knows, along with if they can access healthier menu options. Eating healthier foods is also a challenge amidst the billion plus dollar junk food market that we are bombarded by on a daily basis.
What are the public’s options currently when dining out?
Currently if you are looking to eat healthier when dining-out, there are, depending on where you are dining, some tools that you can use that are provided by government programs, nutritional businesses that are hired by restaurants, or restaurants themselves.
For instance, nutritional food labels are one tool many chain restaurants are now supplying their diners with… Even so, a lot of restaurants do not have food labels available; we see this with mom and pop restaurants mainly in Canada and the United States. The Trump Administration has also put a hold on requirements for menu items needing nutritional labelling for the time being.
Nutritional labelling for grocery style foods items have been around since the 1990’s, yet we are of the mind at Healthy Dine Out that those labels are not in a common language, and again, they aren’t readily available in a lot of restaurants as of yet.
As well, nutritional labels take time to break the information down so you are aware of what you are putting into your body. Then there are the ingredient names that no one can pronounce or have any clue what they are. Truth, it might feel like you might as well throw your hat to the wind, at times.
Reading a Nutritional Label entails…
Math, yes there is math a diner has to do, along with having decent english skills to understand what the labels are trying to get across. Add the time it takes to break everything down against what you’ve already eaten during the day… Plus, how motivated you are to eat healthier… What was simple now looks rather complicated in a busy restaurant where noise challenges a persons concentration. There needs to be easily accessible basic information that one can digest, no pun intended quickly and conveniently.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Association has, within this past year, approved new food labels where a greater emphasis will be on added sugars, and the calories will be in bold. Many people think this will affect the choices people will make. I’m not so sure… Here is a great article from the LA Times addressing these new Food labels, click here.
How will we help at Healthy Dine Out?
We are all about healthy dining! We also think our Healthy Menu Showcases are going to be a big help to the public. We have some restaurants menu showcases currently on our website, yes!
That being said, in the near future, our ‘Certified’ Menu Showcases will be available on our new website with added benefits, such as having nutritional information by a certified nutritionist that accompanies this kind of menu showcase. There will also be our ‘Preferred’ Menu Showcases where the head Sous Chef, will choose their healthiest menu items. Each menu item will also have a complete ingredients list.
As well, we are offering you an ability to write healthy food reviews when dining out at restaurants. We want you to ask the server what is the healthiest menu item(s) and get a dialogue going. Healthy eating is as much about the community around you, and how it impacts your food. Go where healthy eaters go…
What is amazing is how there is such a focus on eating healthy at home, yet there is this gap, or change in philosophy when we dine- out. Truly, you can find cooks books for all sorts of things! Want to build muscle for instance, then there is an anabolic cookbook, or want to get into metabolic cooking for fat loss then there is a recipe book full of fat reducing meal ideas! It doesn’t currently work this way when dining out…