Halal Consumer - Issue 32 - page 15

Sides and Condiments:
Sides and condiments can increase fat and calories of
an already decadent meal. Instead of fries, ask about the
steamed vegetable side options.
Condiments such as mayonnaise add a creamy texture but
are high in saturated fat. Skip the mayo and ask if you can
have a slice of avocado in your sandwich instead.
High calorie salad dressings should be used sparingly.
Consider this a rule: If you can’t see through the dressing you
should avoid it. Instead, ask for a mix of olive oil and vinegar.
Recall that olive oil is a healthy fat and can reduce the risk of
chronic disease.
Many times sauces served with entrées contain wine.
Although a portion of the wine will evaporate in the cooking
process, a percentage of alcohol still remains in the food.
This makes it impure for consumption. Ask your server to
substitute in a sauce that does not have any alcoholic ingre-
dients…otherwise get ready for a bottle of hot sauce!
Desserts:
After a large meal, you may want to ask yourself if you are
really still hungry. If you truly want to order something sweet,
consider splitting a dessert with your dinner party. You need
only a couple bites to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you are
unsure about ordering dessert, try this: have fruit with yogurt
at home. You’ll be increasing your daily fiber intake and pre-
venting indigestion all at once!
Stay halal:
Many desserts contain ingredients that are not
considered halal. Be aware that pie crusts and cannoli shells
are traditionally prepared with lard. Cheesecakes may be
prepared with beef and pork gelatins. Be mindful of desserts
that include alcohol as an ingredient, such as bananas fos-
ter and tiramisu.
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Dining out may seem like a challenge, but maintaining the purity
of food consumed is an obligation for Muslims. Take the time to
carefully read menus and ask your server or management for more
information regarding food ingredients and preparation if needed.
To maintain healthy eating while dining out or ordering in, look
for opportunities to make optimal choices and increase your vita-
min, fiber, and healthy fat intake. With a few adjustments your
meal can be both healthy
and
halal!
ZAIRA AHMAD 
is a registered dietitian from New Jersey. She has a mas-
ter’s in nutrition and food science as well as experience in clinical dietetics,
counseling, and long term care.
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