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Ensure healthy eating out

Ensure healthy eating out

About four weeks ago, a popular TV health show beamed a story on how some star hotels are providing `healthier' options to satisfy customer demands. About two weeks ago, while I relaxed with family and friends at a resort, I overheard a guest telling a resort employee she wanted to see nutritional values displayed against the food items to make sure she would get the right amount of calories even when she's on a holiday! This remark was a pleasant surprise.

Later, on knowing that I am in the profession of calorie-counting, the resort employees asked me for guidance. Being a nature friendly resort, I'm sure the task won't be difficult for them. Some chefs feel that `healthy eating' amounts to substituting butter with margarine and using artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. Many hotels and restaurants feel that the only way to please and retain their customers is to make the food tasty. And the only method used to make food tasty is to overload the dishes with oil or fat or spices or salt or sugar or a combination of these.

The hotels and restaurants need to:
a. Offer a wide variety of healthy choices along with the regular greasy, sugary menu so that customers have a choice.
b. Get help from a nutritionist to plan healthy menus. Here are some tips for those eating out:
a. Look for items not high in fats and / or sugars.
b. Choose foods not made of refined items like maida.
c. Include at least one or two vegetable and fresh fruit dishes in a meal.
d. Ask for salad with the dressing on the side. This way you can either avoid or restrict the amount of dressing.
e. Avoid cream soups; choose clear soups, if you must.
f. Ask the chef or steward to explain the dishes on the menu. Give him choices of what you wish to eat and he'll help you to choose the healthier options.