Halal Consumer - Issue 32 - page 14

Health & Nutrition
Appetizers:
Choose an appetizer to share with others and keep it rela-
tively light. Don’t fall into the trap of consuming an ample
starter and losing space for your entrée. You’ll end up eating
your entrée even if you are not all that hungry, resulting in
over-eating. Avoid cheesy, greasy, fried appetizers so you can
appreciate your meal when it finally arrives! Try edamame
(lightly seasoned steamed soybean pods) to get more veg-
gies in your diet.
Entrées:
When selecting an entrée, choose from items that are
baked, grilled, or sautéed instead of fried. Fried foods con-
tain more oil/butter, increasing the fat content. If an entrée
has multiple sources of fat—such as a burrito with sour
cream, cheese, and guacamole—choose just one to add
texture and creaminess to your meal. Try to choose a plant
source of fat such as avocado, nuts, and plant oils. These
sources are known to be rich in monounsaturated fats,
which can prevent heart disease.
Stay halal:
Be aware of enzymes used in cheeses. Pepsin
is sourced from pigs, rennets are sourced from calves, and
microbes are considered vegetarian sources. Your server
should be able to inquire about this information from the
kitchen for you. Also know that sometimes entrées, such
as duck, are cooked in bacon fat or lard. This information
should be stated in the item description on the menu, but
that may not always be the case. It’s also helpful to become
familiar with different names and preparations of pork.
Some examples include: prosciutto, chorizo, capicola, panc-
etta, and mortadella.
Drinks:
Drinks add unnecessary calories to your meal. Instead of
sugar-laden sodas try seltzer/club soda with a lemon or lime
slice added. Unsweetened iced tea is also a suitable choice.
The healthiest option, however, is to choose water; it will best
maintain your body’s hydration balance compared to any
other drink option.
Stay halal:
Become familiar with common names for alco-
holic drinks. You wouldn’t want to order a “Long Island” iced
tea by accident!
By Zaira Ahmad, MS RD
These days, Americans are eating
out more often. According to the
United States Healthful Food
Council, Americans purchase
a meal or snack outside of the
house 5.8 times a week.
In the past, dining out was seen as an indulgence where
one could forgo the rules of healthy eating for a treat. Now,
as it is commonplace, staying nutr
itious
while eating out is
important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Excess calo-
rie, carbohydrate, and fat intake can lead to obesity and
chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Most
restaurants serve hefty portioned entrées. Factor in sides,
condiments, drinks, and desserts and you could be consum-
ing over two thousand calories in just one sitting!
When a Muslim goes to a restaurant, he or she is faced with
the additional challenge of staying halal. Read on for tips to
achieve a healthy and halal dining experience.
Eat This,
Not That!
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Spring 2015
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