Eating in restaurants can be so tricky. If you have any kind of health issues, or want to lose weight, it is important to educate yourself so you don’t inadvertently eat something that is not in line with your goals.
The safest thing is to order is a piece of grilled or broiled protein with a salad (adding lemon juice and olive oil) or a baked potato. If you want more than that, watch for these items.
Soup can have hidden gluten. Most don’t know that a great way to thicken soup is to use the same water that had boiled the pasta. It’s true. When pasta is cooked, the water is not thrown out. This water is prized for the extra flavor and body it can add to other meals. So, if you are concerned about gluten, confirming that an entrée is gluten free is key. This “pasta water” can be used in anything and everything. “Pasta water” can be used to sauté vegetables, sauté proteins, thicken soups, steam food items and make sauces.
2. Corn Chips
These sometimes are cross-contaminated with wheat. Also, if you have a strong reaction to gluten, you might have the same cross-reaction to corn. Pay attention after you dig into the nacho plate to see how you feel the next day.
3. Salad Dressings
Their ingredients are rarely optimal. Some are thickened with wheat or other grain by-products. Some dressings have sugar to make them more palatable, and just about all have a sub par oil that is either made of vegetables or is highly processed. When eating out, it is best to go simple and dress your salads with olive oil and lemon.
4. Soy Sauce
Commercial soy sauces are all gluten, MSG, sodium, colorings and flavorings. When going to a chinese restaurant or for sushi, I carry a little container of “Bragg’s Amino Acids” which is a natural product that is truly fermented. Stay away from the bottled sauces on the tables.
5. Purees, Glazes and Sauces
Mashed potatoes and Benedict sauce can contain flour. Chefs use this to thicken and give flavor to the dish. So any time you can’t see every single ingredient (steamed broccoli, baked potato, broiled carrots) ask if there is a thickener involved.
I am a whole foods coach specializing in weight loss. I help people with food addictions and building a food plan that works for them. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to set up a consultation.