How To Eat Healthy At An American Restaurant

White plate with a stack of pancakes layered with and topped with Nutella. Side view.

When it comes to food, America is known for its range of iconic dishes like hamburgers, hotdogs, and pizzas. Comfort foods like these can help draw tourists to a destination, but it does make eating healthy in an American restaurant challenging.
Apart from their heartiness, these dishes all have one thing in common- they’re a type of fast food. This means that their main ingredients are typically high in saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. While these foods in moderation aren’t bad, overindulgence can lead to a long list of health issues like obesity and cardiovascular issues.
Despite these dishes being a staple for the nation, the good news is that you can work around it by
making mindful choices. Not sure where to start? Galuppi’s is here to help!

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Study The Menu Beforehand

There are several restaurants that now post their menu online, offering you a choice to look over the menu before arriving. By focusing on lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables, you can easily spot the healthy options available.
Studying the menu beforehand allows you to make an informed decision on where you want to dine. It means you can enjoy an evening out with your loved ones without compromising your health.

Be Conscious Of Portion Sizes

Americans are known for loving their food, and it shows in their generous portion sizes. Chances are that any main meal you order will be larger than what you’re used to, so we’ve come up with ways to stop you from overindulging.

  1. If you’re not a fan of taking leftovers home, you could ask the restaurant for a half-portion.
  2. See if someone at your table wants to share the dish with you. 
  3. Look at the starter menu and order it as a main meal.

Each of these options allows you to enjoy a delicious meal without feeling weighed down by the hefty portions.

White plate with a steak sandwich topped with crispy onions, and a side of cole slaw.

Opt For Lean Proteins

As you probably know, there are various protein sources, some leaner than others. When studying the menu of a restaurant, you’ll want to try and look for meals with grilled chicken, turkey, fish, or lean cuts of beef.
You’ll also want to be careful about choosing fried or breaded options. Not only will they have more calories, but they’re also higher in fat. Instead, opt for meals that have been grilled or baked for a more nutritious meal.

Pick Your Sides Carefully

Going to a restaurant known for its unhealthy menu doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You can still find a
healthier version of the meal by picking your sides carefully.
Instead of fries, ask the restaurant to substitute a portion of steamed vegetables, a side salad, or a small portion of whole grain, like brown rice. This is an easy way to explore the iconic dishes of America while still getting the nutrients you’re after.

White plate with a portion of Mediterranean chopped salad and grilled chicken.

Be Mindful Of Sauces And Dressings

Did you know that being mindful of the sauces and dressings on your food could give your meal a healthy
twist? For example, vinaigrettes are not only lighter than creamy sauces but are also lower in calories as well.
If you’d prefer not to switch out your sauces or dressings, ask the restaurant to put them on the side
of your meal. This way, you can get the full effect of the dish while controlling how much or little sauce
you want.

Go For Whole Grains

While American restaurants aren’t known for their healthy habits, you can still enjoy a nutritious meal if
you know what to look out for. One of these things would be choosing whole grain options like brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta.
These options add to a meal in the same way that refined grains do, but offer your system more fiber and
nutrients while doing so. Looking out for meals with whole grains is another easy way to eat healthy while dining out.

Two glasses with brunch cocktails garnished with fresh fruit.

Make Water Your Drink Of Choice

It may surprise you to hear that eating a healthy meal isn’t just about the food; it’s also about what you choose to drink. While there’s no doubt that sodas and alcoholic beverages are a lot more fun to drink, their high sugar levels make them an unhealthy option.
Instead,substitute these choices with a low-calorie beverage like water or herbal tea. These drink options will not only help you stay hydrated but also allow you to complement your meal with a health-conscious drink as well.

Eat Desserts In Moderation

Believe it or not, embracing a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean skipping out on trying new meals. It simply means being mindful of your choices and choosing the healthiest option available. We understand that this becomes tricky when talking about desserts, which are known for their high sugar content.
The best way to navigate this would be to eat them in moderation. This can be done by sharing them with others at the table or even choosing a fruit-based option.

Listen To Your Body

All of the tips up until this point have revolved mainly around the food items themselves. However, arguably the most important thing to do when trying to eat healthy at an American restaurant is to listen to your body.
When out for a meal, paying attention to hunger and fullness cues is important. Your body will tell you when it’s satisfied, and that’s when you should stop eating and take the leftovers to go. This allows you to enjoy your meal without feeling as though you overindulged.

Call Galuppi’s For Healthy Eating While Enjoying American Food.

When it comes to eating healthy, it’s important to remember that it’s all about balance and being mindful of the choices you make. By simply opting for more nutrient-rich options from the menu, you can enjoy your dining experience without worrying about the negative effect it will have on your body.

Galuppi’s is dedicated to delivering an American restaurant experience in a healthy way. So give us a call today at 954-785-0226 to book your dining experience!

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