How To Make Clever Restaurant Choices

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how to make clever restaurant choices

Heart Friendly And Fast Healthy Foods

How to make clever restaurant choices is important in a world of gourmet restaurants whose aim is to tempt you into ordering unhealthy, though tasty, foods that increase your waistline.

When you walk into a restaurant with the intention of ordering the grilled chicken salad but find yourself stuffing down a cheeseburger. This may not be because you lost your initial healthy motive. But very likely you were a victim of exotic menu names, sumptuous-looking food images, fattening options, and gourmet-style cooking.  

how to make clever restaurant choices

If you want to know how to make clever restaurant choices, read below some ways restaurants entice you and be wary:

Clever Exotic Foreign Names Like “Spicy Crispy Bean Cake With Natural Corn Soufflé”

There’s a lot in a name, especially in the food industry. With steep competition amongst restaurants, clever exotic foreign names are used to entice potential diners. For example, “spicy crispy bean cake with natural corn soufflé” sounds French and better than “plain bean cakes and corn gruel”. Also, the name can be politically correct when you are out to please someone. Such clever names can boost sales by up to 27% according to industry research.

Furthermore, enticing descriptions create a positive emotion about how something will taste. This is the reason why saying something is “crispy” or “natural” creates a balance between a deep-fried craving and a healthier combination. Also takes your mind away from the down-to-earth reality that the bean cakes are actually deep-fried.

Food Images That  Look So Good To Eat

how to make clever restaurant choices

Several times you may find that you choose your meals based on the pleasurable images presented on a menu. This is not surprising because a study found that large, vivid images increase the probability that you will impulsively order that food. So, in the menu world, photos placed in the upper corners and the centers of the page get prime attention. These are hot spots where your eyes normally move to. Therefore, the more attention eateries can bring to a food item, the more likely you are to order it. In the dessert segment, ice cream, gateau, cupcakes, etc make the most of these menu photos to entice consumers.  

Healthy And Fattening Options Side By Side

You probably think that putting healthy options besides fattening ones will help you make a better choice. But according to a study, the opposite seems to be the case. The study found that people are actually more likely to choose a higher-calorie dish when a healthy display is offered right beside it. Although crazy as it sounds, it’s possible that just reading about a salad makes you feel like you have satisfied your nutrition goals. And this feeling leaves you free to go wild and indulge in fattening foods. Well, the study may have its point. However, having access to healthier options should be a welcome opportunity if you don’t normally eat healthily at home. What do you think?

Lots Of Dressed Vegetables

how to make clever restaurant choices

Picking battered, deep-fried, creamy, or cheesy vegetables may make you think you are eating healthy since they are vegetables. And, they are healthy anyway. Right? No, they are not. Don’t fall for this trick! A seemingly healthy addition to a less-than-wholesome dish sounds like a clever compromise. But in reality, these “veggie” delights can often be worse for you than more notorious diet killers like pizza and hamburgers.  Plain, boiled, or steamed vegetables are much better. If you cannot get that, skip the vegetables until you get home. 

Sampler Platter That Looks Acceptable

Avoid sampler platters that have little of everything offered.  According to a study, when you are given a wide selection, you will eat 10% more than you would have if there had been only one option. That is because having tiny bits of variety makes you feel as if you are not eating as much. In other words, when you are given a plate that contains small chops of chicken wings, fried flour dough, samosas, and spring rolls, you will feel tempted to eat everything on your plate. As opposed to a plate that contains maybe the usual four pieces of a single food.

Bottom Line

Lastly, the next time you go out to a restaurant, remember that how to make clever restaurant choices is about looking out for healthy ready-made foods. This means the simpler and more natural the food the better for your health. So, avoid the complicated exotic names, mouth-watering food images, and over-the-top gourmet offers.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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