5 Ways to Evaluate How Healthy Your Favourite Restaurant Really Is
Going out for dinner with friends shouldn’t mean you have to accept an unhealthy meal. Here are 5 ways to evaluate how healthy a restaurant really is!
We all enjoy going out for dinner every once and a while - but going out doesn't need to mean eating unhealthy foods! Below are five ways to evaluate how healthy a restaurant really is!
1: Are there preservatives, additives, or artificial flavours used in their food?
The best possible answer here is a big NO. The rule of thumb here is if it is cooked fresh, there is a significantly lower chance they need to add artificial flavours or anything else to the food. If a restaurant is buying their ingredients from local sources, then the use of preservatives and additives is not needed – don’t be afraid to ask!
Note: the factory food industry is now claiming “no artificial additives or preservatives” – but this is just advertising, as these can still be made in a lab using ‘natural’ ingredients.
2: How many deep fryers are in the kitchen?
Deep-fried foods is a staple in most restaurant kitchens – and while the food may taste good, it is undeniably bad for you. If a restaurant has multiple deep fryers as their primary method of cooking, you should probably look elsewhere for dining-out options.
Deep fryers: NOT something you want to see in the kitchen!
3: Is there a full kitchen?
Some smaller restaurants and cafes don’t have a full kitchen – so everything is cooked in either a deep fryer or a microwave. This means that there is very little chance the food is fresh, and likely spends most of it’s time in a freezer.
4: Is everything made from scratch?
Don’t be fooled by the “Baked Fresh Daily” or similar signs – this often means it is produced in a food factory and shipped frozen to be finished off (‘baked fresh’) in-house. Keep an eye out for signs talking about fresh local ingredients, or a menu made from produce available that day.
5: What’s the response to: what are the ingredients in this dish?
Factory food comes with an ingredient list and a process sheet (preparation instructions) for thawing, microwaving and/or deep frying. Pre-made foods will also have printed calorie counts on the instructions and/or ingredients list as they are mass produced with equipment in a factory, rather than by people in the kitchen. But, if it’s fresh, restaurants will be able to tell you based on information from the chef. Don’t be afraid to ask: if the ingredients are fresh, your server will be happy to tell you! It’s a source of pride!
Visit The Healthy Owl at #15 620 Davenport Road in Waterloo for a dining-out experience you can trust is healthy!
You can also visit our website for more information on catering and to see our full menu!