Filipinos love to eat. This is evident at how every province has its own special dish and how a lot of buffet restaurants are opening branches over the metro. Adding to this, a lot of moms and dads also have their own versions of adobo, pancit, sinigang, fried chicken, and almost any other dish, a reason why there are a lot of small-time eateries around every neighborhood.
Eating seems to be really enjoyable, especially for Filipinos who love company over good food. Some people from Metro Manila won’t even mind traveling and spending a lot just to get a sample of that famous organic lechon (roasted suckling pig) or that equally famous crocodile meat sisig (sizzling dish with chopped meat). Many groups of friends also dedicate time to eating out regularly—trying the new restaurant in town or driving to somewhere they haven’t dined at.
In the same way that a lot of people like to eat out, a lot of people also want to stay healthy when they eat out. Some might think that it takes away the fun of eating out, but really, being a little more conscious of your own health can’t be a bad thing. People can easily fall into the temptation of overeating when eating out, so it is wise to be more aware of what food goes through your body.
Remember that eating healthy doesn’t always mean eating bland, lonely food.
Here are three pointers that might help you be more health-conscious when eating out.
First, don’t be afraid to ask. When dining at a restaurant or falling in line for a new dish, you shouldn’t shy away from inquiring about the food you are about to order. Whether or not you’ll eat the food, at least you know what’s literally in it for you.
You can also ask about health benefits. In some restaurants, servers are knowledgeable about the food and how it will be or was prepared; some chefs even make themselves available for their customers.
Second, eat in moderation. People say anything that’s too much is not good—it’s the same with food. Eating too much can give you a bloated feeling that may spoil you and your friends evening. It can also lead to illnesses such as hypertension, diarrhea, or even diabetes when done too often.
Whenever eating out, remember that you don’t have to eat in big amounts to enjoy the food. You also don’t have to sample everything in one visit. You can taste this specialty first, and then taste a different dish the next time you visit. It will be just like trying something new every time, enjoying each dish as you try them.
Eating in moderation also concerns the regularity of you eating out. Every week is acceptable, but anything more often than that would be a little bit too much, unless of course you eat food for a living. Take note that eating out also costs money.
Lastly, try to make your own dish. If you want to be more conscious of what you eat, try preparing meals yourself. This way, you will get to choose the quality of the ingredients, the way the dish will be prepared, and you will get to experience the happiness bought about by cooking.
It will not only make you more hands-on on the nutrients your body gets, but it can also be an opportunity for developing a new habit.
In conclusion, the next time you eat out with your friends, be sure to ask about the food you’re getting and eat slowly and more consciously. Better yet, have a good time at home by preparing and cooking your own meals. The best chefs and restaurants started at home!