Vacation eating is always fraught with tension for anyone concerned about their salt, saturated fat and sugar intake. It becomes even more of a challenge in a country like Italy with all its wonderful gastronomic creations.
Maintaining a heart-healthy diet takes a lot of inner discipline given that we’re surrounded by so many food options that are high in salt, saturated fat and sugar. The task becomes even more daunting when you’re on vacation, especially in a foreign country with even more foods you love.
I’ve been vacationing in Italy, my ancestral homeland, with a large group of cousins. That means meals here have been wonderful family affairs with so many food options its difficult to count them all. But most involve salt and sugar. What to do, fear everything I eat or put diet concerns aside for the duration of the trip?
I’m trying to walk a middle ground, which has meant ordering seafood as often as possible and minimizing my pasta, pastry and gelato intake. Southern Italy is a wonderful place to eat seafoods. I had a piece of amberjack in a light tomato sauce last night, for example, something I rarely see on US menus.
I’ve also had oysters and clams, albeit with pasta. Pasta portion sizes are smaller here than in the US, which is a good thing since we tend to fill plates to overflowing at home.
Gelato, of course, is the hardest goodie to pass up, especially when everyone else keeps pushing for it. And with that, I don’t do small portions well.
I’m assuming I’ll gain weight on this trip, we’ll see how much when I’m back in the States and have a scale again. Then it will also be back to strictly watching the salt, fat and sugar,
Costco shopping followed by a meal there has been a regular Thursday ritual for me since at least 2006, first for shopping and dinner at its food court and, since I retired in 2015, for Thursday shopping and lunch.
Costco’s food court frozen yogurt swirl, consisting of fat-free vanilla and fat-free chocolate frozen yogurt, is one of the few dessert treats I can reasonably eat on my heart-healthy restricted diet.
That’s why I was shocked and despondent this past Thursday when I went to order my usual lunch, a salad and a twist of frozen yogurt, only to be told Costco was no longer selling chocolate frozen yogurt at the food court!!!
A little online research found others already have posted about this, apparently the former $1.39 frozen yogurt twist is being replaced by a bowl of frozen acai sherbet with berries and granola for $5.99!!!!
Obviously Costco is trying to appeal to Millennials, who are not shopping there now, with this new offering.
Keep in mind, healthiest doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, it just means least bad.Still, if you find yourself stuck at a Boston Market or an Au Bon Pain, for example, this list may help you.
I was intrigued that the McDonald’s choices didn’t include a salad without the dressings, which are loaded with salt. I always carry my own oil and vinegar so I’m not tied to any dressing served by a restaurant.
Salad dressing served in restaurants are loaded with salt, fat and sugar, exactly what you don;t want to put on a healthy salad. I’ve advised in the past that you carry you own olive oil and vinegar to use when dining out. Small packets of each are available on Amazon, i buy them literally by the hundreds.
Sunday is movie day in our house. We normally go to the first show of the day to get cheaper tickets because why pay more to see the same movie a few hours later? Movie theaters today are adding all sorts of new perks to get people to leave their houses. One of the new perks is expanded food options.
AMC is a large theater chain and I saw recently that it has what it’s calling the AMC dine-in menu now. The cardboard menu they give you to pick from actually has calorie counts right on it for every dish, a requirement that comes from the healthcare law commonly called Obamacare.
McDonald’s is everywhere across the United States, so chance are you’ll find yourself in one for a meal from time to time even if you’re on a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet. I actually go to a local McDonald’s once a week, getting a salad and bringing my own oil and vinegar packets so I don’t use the high-salt Paul Newman dressings.
McDonald’s has been working hard to improve the image of its food offerings, wanting to get away from seeming processed or simply bad fast food and I give it credit for those efforts. But sadly I think it’s still missing the point, at least for someone like me worried about salt, fat and sugar in my diet.
The McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich is its latest attempt. artisan conveys a sense that this chicken is somehow more special than its regular chicken sandwich. So I was really hoping to see that in its nutrition information. What I saw instead though was a mountain of salt.
I wrote an enthusiastic post about the relatively new fast food chain Naf Naf Grill back in 2014 when I discovered the low-salt content of its pita bread and the low-fat content of its beef in a pita offering. I’ve been touting it to friends and family ever since.