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How to Tell if a Restaurant has a ‘Clean Menu’

When it comes to eating clean, cooking at home is always the best option. However, we lead busy lives, and this isn’t always possible. There are days when even the healthiest among us want to give in and order takeout. But, it can be tricky to avoid excess sodium, fat, and calories when you’re dining out.

Fortunately, deep fried junk foods aren’t your only option for a quick meal anymore.  Many popular restaurants offer a variety of clean eating options. Eating clean meals when dining out is no longer as stressful as it used to be thanks to the new all-vegan restaurants and healthy takeaway options that are popping up all over the country.

These eateries are committed to ethical ingredient sourcing and using only natural, whole foods. Local, organic food options replace artificial or processed ingredients. If you’re planning to dine at a particular restaurant do some research beforehand on the menu, nutritional information and ingredients used. Doing this will allow you to make the best clean eating choices. Here are a few ways to tell if a restaurant has a clean menu.

Check for Vegan and Vegetarian Options

Several studies point to the fact that following a vegan lifestyle can be better for your health in the long run. If a restaurant has dedicated vegan options, this is a good indication that they are conscious of the way food is evolving. However, just because something is vegan, doesn’t make it healthy. So be sure to check if the ingredients are natural, locally-sourced, plant-based and GMO-free.

Watch Out For Macros and Allergens

Macronutrients or “Macros” make up the caloric content of any food. Check if information on the Macros such as net carbs and total carbs is mentioned on the menu. It is also a good sign if the menu indicates the allergen status of each dish.

Look For Lighter Choices

Clean eating restaurants usually offer lighter food options like soups, salads, and sandwiches. Check if the salads on offer come with healthy dressings and avoid those with an abundance of creamy Caesar or ranch. The menu should ideally offer oil-based dressing options which can be served on the side.

See What Drinks Are Offered

While many of us pay attention to the food we’re putting in our bodies, we often forget about the drinks. Clean menus should have healthy drink options like coconut water, freshly made iced teas, sugar-free spritzers, and juices. Also, avoid pesticides by opting for organic or biodynamic wines.

Choose the Right Cuisine

When it comes to eating out, some cuisines can be healthier than others. If you’re looking for lighter or gluten-free options, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican or Middle Eastern meals are usually a good bet.


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