Tips for Low Carb Eating in Restaurants

Tips for Low Carb Eating in Restaurants

Maybe you’re sticking to a low carb diet at home, but what about when you’re at Buffalo Wild Wings or California Pizza Kitchen? While the temptation to eat all those high-calorie treats is there, you can avoid them with a bit of planning. The first thing you need to do is plan and look at the menu ahead. Most restaurants today have their menus online so look there and decide beforehand what you want to eat.

Primary Considerations

The most effective method is to go to a restaurant that offers low carb meals. This isn’t as hard to figure out as before because as noted above, most restaurants make their menus available online. Good choices are restaurants where most food items are separate like salad and steak, and it’s also best to avoid foods with lots of ingredients. You should also feel confident about ordering low carb food since most restaurants now accept special orders and are in fact providing healthy alternative menus.

Low Carb Food Options

Obviously, restaurants have a lot of different menus, and taking a look at them is necessary to find what options are readily available. Generally speaking though, look for unbreaded and plain meat with salads and/or vegetables. Most of the time meat is served with potatoes or fries but you can ask for vegetables instead. Usually, you just need to say “no potato” and the waiter will add more vegetables.

Most restaurants today have meal salads or variants of it, and it’s a good choice if you’re on a low carb diet. But if you’d rather have something else, order a sandwich but ask that the filling is placed on a green salad. Aside from that, you can also order a sandwich or burger minus the bun and have a salad too. Now if you’re at a breakfast diner just ask for some omelet for dinner or lunch with mushrooms, peppers, spinach and other vegetables.

You don’t have to stick to vegetables exclusively since you can also order some fruit. In addition to that, you can substitute macaroni and fries with vegetable salads and fruits, and you can also do your part in keeping that low carb diet by avoiding deep fried food and high carb desserts.

Low Carb Chinese and Asian Dishes

Eating out in Chinese and Asian themed restaurants is challenging for some especially if you’re not familiar with the menu and ingredients. Apart from noodles and rice, a lot of Asian and Chinese dishes have starch or sugar in them. In addition, the ingredients used in Asian restaurants in the US vary, so Kung Pao Chicken may be low in carb in one restaurant and high in another.

However, those on a low carb diet will want to avoid or limit their intake of any kind of rice, whether it is steamed or fried. You should also avoid noodles like chow fun, lo mein, and chow mein as well as wontons and the deep fried variety offered in many Chinese restaurants. You’ll also want to steer clear off egg rolls and breaded meats.

Good and safe choices are soups that are clear and thin, and you can also indulge in steamed tofu with veggies or different kinds of steamed fish. Many Asian restaurants also serve different vegetable and meat combinations with savory but thin sauces, and they’re definitely good options. Among the most popular right now are curry chicken, Szechuan prawns, Moo Goo Gai Pan and chicken with mushrooms.

Since there are so many options, you’ll need to use your taste buds, and the general rule is the thicker the sauce, the higher the carb count. Also, remember that if the sauce is very sweet odds are there’s plenty of sugar in it. If you really want to have some fried food, you should avoid those with lots of sugar or starch. However, they can’t be completely avoided but there are stir-fried dishes that have less than a gram of it per serving.

Other Low Carb Food Options

If you like black bean sauce you’re in luck since it isn’t high in carbohydrates. You can also have some Egg Foo Yung as long as there’s no gravy, as well as walnut chicken. You can also enjoy some Mongolian Barbecue, and you can choose what vegetables to go along with it. When you’re ordering food in any restaurant, remember that thick sauces are full of carbs and that one tbsp. of cornstarch has 7 g of carb.

You’ll also want to watch out for spicy sauces since they usually have a lot of sugar or cornstarch. Lemon chicken for one, has plenty of sugar so it’s best avoided. However, water chestnuts are a better option as there isn’t a lot of cornstarch in each slice, and finally, remember that restaurants today have a lot of healthy options.

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