How restaurants are rising to the challenge of offering the better-for-you choices Americans are looking for including lower-calorie and weight loss friendly meals that still taste great. This is how restaurants are delivering on those delicious and weight-loss friendly meals.
We hear so much about restaurants and the negative impact they can have on our weight. Lists regularly round up the worst choices at restaurants, the worst restaurants and more. How often do we hear the positive moves restaurants are making to help us meet our health goals?
Working so closely with restaurants over the years, the team at Healthy Dining has seen first-hand how restaurants are rising to the challenge of offering the better-for-you choices Americans are looking for. For some diners, these dishes are more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and for some, they’re about disease management and prevention. For many, they’re about lower-calorie and weight loss friendly meals that still taste great. This is how restaurants are delivering on those delicious and weight-loss friendly meals:
Tapping into the trends
While many of the current trends tie into sustainability, they also support a healthy weight and overall health. These are some of the big trends driving menus right now:
Plant-based dishes. As research continues to emerge supporting the benefits of a plant-based diet, and demand for these choices grows, chefs are tapping into their own culinary creativity to deliver. You may be seeing more bean- or soy-based dishes, and even the newest option, jack fruit, showing up on menus. In many cases, even when meat is part of the meal, it is taking a back seat to vegetables. Plant-based choices aren’t automatically the most weight-friendly choices – be sure to check out the nutrition information and ask questions about preparation – but such menu items are often loaded with fiber to help fill you up and a wealth of vitamins and minerals to support your weight loss goals.
Whole foods. Many chefs and restaurants are getting back to basics, cutting out processed foods in favor of whole and fewer ingredients. This trend can help take some of the guesswork out of you meal’s nutrition while adding fiber. Fiber-rich whole grains, in particular, have been identified as a popular trend on restaurant menus.
Creating healthier choices
Have you seen more “lighter choices” and similar dishes showing up on menus? Chefs are tapping into their culinary expertise to create brand new options that showcase the flavor of food without unnecessary calories that can hinder your weight loss efforts. These options often include some of our favorite ingredients like lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains that can help satisfy with fewer calories.
Revising your favorites to be healthier
Many restaurants are seeing the upcoming menu labeling regulations as an opportunity to change recipes for the better, reducing calories, sodium, and certain fats. Some restaurants are reducing less healthy ingredients here and there to reduce numbers without you noticing. Others are reformulating with new products and ingredients. Either way, you get your old favorite with a healthier new spin that is often more waist-friendly.
Restaurants and the chefs behind them are striving to offer the better-for-you choices you want. Whether you want more weight-friendly choices, more sustainable choices or more choices that help you manage your health, it’s time to start voting with our forks to let them know how good those choices are!
As part of the Healthy Dining program, restaurants nationwide are committing to serving dietitian-recommended dishes like these to help you support your goals: