Low-carb diets have become increasingly popular, and some restaurants are now offering different reduced-carbohydrate meals to attract customers and increase their revenues. Still even if just a few meals suit your diet, you can have a balanced dinner or lunch.
What to Order
If you are on a ketogenic or another carbohydrate-restrictive diet, you may want to ask whether they serve sides other than French fries, polenta, and mashed potatoes. Ask whether they offer grilled zucchini or broccoli, carrot or rutabaga mash, or roasted summer squash. The choices also depend on the diet you follow. If you are on the Paleo Diet, for example, you can have nuts and fruits, vegetables, and animal protein. Just avoid meals with thick sauces because they are high in carbohydrates. If you are on the South Beach Diet, then you can have fish, poultry, lean meats, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and olive oil. At a non-low carb friendly restaurant, you can order pork tenderloin or loin, duck breast, chicken, skinless turkey, and fish. Combine with brown rice or grilled or steamed vegetables and avoid rice and potatoes. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can order a meal made with vegetables, beans, and tofu. Choose a dish that is sautéed, broiled, grilled, or baked. You can combine it with a sauce.
If you are on the Atkins Diet, avoid sugars, starches, and grains and opt for red meat, heavy cream, vegetables, and dairies. Some restaurants are Atkins-friendly, but most aren’t. One option is to order steaks and a salad without croutons .Roasted turkey and rotisserie chicken are also good options. You can have gravy, but it contains a small amount of carbohydrates. Some foods are low in carbohydrates while others are carb-free. For example, a sirloin steak and house salad each contain about 13 – 15 grams. Wings with blue cheese are very low in carbs and are ideal if you are on a restrictive diet (they have just 4 grams). Then a side of bacon is practically carb-free, which makes it a safe choice.
Types of Restaurants
Some restaurants make for a better choice than others although they are not low-carb friendly. Fish restaurants are one example. You can have liberal amounts of fish, including rainbow trout, tilapia, salmon, lobster, and even shrimp cocktail. Some restaurants even list sodium and fat content and calories to make it easier for customers with special dietary requirements to choose a meal. There are different types of restaurants, for example, quick service, fast casual, casual dining, fine dining, and others. There are also restaurants that feature Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, and other cuisines. Regardless of the type of restaurant, look for items such as salads, grilled burgers, grilled chicken with tomatoes and lettuce, grilled seafood, and low-carb barbeque. Barbeque and stir-fries without starches and sugar are also good choices. There are other factors to take into account. Fine dining restaurants, for example, offer high quality food, but are pricey. An entrée may cost you $20 – $30 or more. Fast food restaurants, on the other hand, offer inexpensive options with prices within the $8 – $10 range. The main downside is that the meal options are more limited. There are some options, however. One is vegetarian fast food meals such as Caesar salad, vegan grilled vegetable plates, and others. Veggie burgers, pizzas, and pastas are off the list of allowed foods, however. In some cases, your only option is to order chicken or green salad.