My friend and owner of the healthiest restaurant I’ve ever been to, Kris Buchanan, joins us on today’s episode of Food as Medicine TV to help you identify and overcome the 7 pitfalls of eating out.
Kris has been in the restaurant business for nearly two decades and she’s opening her kimono to give you the inside scoop on how to eat out without damaging your health.
Here are the 7 Pitfalls of eating out that we discuss in detail on today’s show.
#1 – Cooking Oils
Even “healthy restaurants” skimp on their oils in order to maintain a lower food budget. The problem is this is the #1 health danger of eating out because poor quality oils like soy and canola drive the inflammation process sky high.
And don’t even get us started on the laws that are attempting to be passed worldwide, nationally, and in California on this. Kris explains in the show.
#2 – Labeling
Products can be labeled “0 Trans Fat” on their packaging if they have less than 0.5g. It’s vital to read the ingredient list and not fall for the marketing claims. Most restaurant owners and chefs don’t look at this before purchasing products because they are focused on the way something cooks versus the nutrition it contains.
#3 – Farmed Seafood vs Truly Wild Seafood
Farmed seafood is not the same food as wild seafood and you really must ask this question if you want to eat fish when eating out and if they say it’s farmed, it’s not for you!
#4 – Decaf Coffee
The only time this is healthy to consume out is if it’s organic and if a natural water process is used to decaffeinate it.
#5 – Tap Water
In Kris’s words, “Skip it. It’s toxic—no way around it. Water quality reports for local water boards are scary.”
She offers more details and alternatives in the show.
Kris also created the healthiest electrolyte powder on the planet that I use daily. It’s called GOODONYA Hydrate and it is a team favorite at TWJ. Of course, they serve it at her cafe with alkaline water.
#6 – Sugary Mixed Drinks
Kris goes through your lowest-sugar cocktails, mocktails, and beverages to help you make the smartest choices while still enjoying the experience of being out. Check out our show on the Benefits of Natural Wine to learn more about the Dry Farm Wines we talk about.
#7 – Allergens
In Kris’s words,
“Sometimes it can be embarrassing to be “that person” at the table. I’ve gotten over it, but we are all in stages with our food understanding and comfort. Like when I had to go gluten-free, I went through the gluten stages. Denial, Grief, Replacement (eating things I’d normally not eat like cookies, cake, etc. anything that was gluten-free, I’d justify it). I also just went to a swanky place in LA and they listed a farro dish as gluten-free but farro is not gluten-free! I think they got confused because they were using an ancient grain. So my point again is that chefs don’t always know nutrition so you have to be quite clear about your allergies.”
It’s always a good idea to take an enzyme prior to eating out that pulverizes the proteins of the most common food sensitivities instead of taking the risk. This way your body can digest whatever you’re exposed to vs. drive up the inflammation process.
“Organic When Possible”
If you ever see this sentence on a menu, it’s illegal per the National Organic Program rules. It’s also called greenwashing (which is the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice).
There isn’t anyone checking on restaurants’ claims that they are in fact organic. So it’s a huge trust factor, which makes it important to ask questions knowing that normally, the staff in front either doesn’t know, hasn’t been trained, or has been trained and is confused.