Summer is a season full of festivals and carnivals that offer tons of food options, including food trucks.
Dale Green, a clinical dietician, gave some advice on eating healthy for those who prefer food truck meals.
First, Green suggested that before you even go out, to eat a full breakfast so that you’re not hungry when you’re out at those food trucks. It’s like grocery shopping on an empty stomach; don’t do it!
Depending on what kind of outing you’re at, there may be a few food trucks to tens of different ones. Green suggested surveying the area before ordering, to explore all your available options.
Next, when eating healthy, consider the methods of cooking used.
“Avoid deep fat fried foods— the ideal choice is choosing things that are roasted, grilled, boiled or baked,” Green said. Stir fried food is a healthier option, but check to see what the cook is frying with. Canola oil is an okay option, and it’s becoming more popular in the food truck industry.
Green also suggested that one should take note of the ingredients used.
“While walking around the place, look for options with a lot of vegetables or fruits in them. These are going to have a lot of fiber and essential minerals such as potassium,” Green said. A high-nutrient meal with less calories is good for eating healthy as well as weight loss.
Green also said that most food trucks allow their customers to personalize their orders. “For instance, if you are watching carbohydrates, you can request them to serve your order without the bun, bread, or noodles.”
Tips to make a healthier meal
1. Little or no cheese: Let’s say you’re choosing a quesadilla, then the best option is choosing grilled chicken, a vegetable, fruit and perhaps little cheese- just for holding it together. “You have seen most fast food trucks serving the entrée with cheese,” Green said. “You have the option of saying light on the cheese.”
2. Top it off: “Salsa, pickles or mustard are the best options when it comes to toppings; avoid the ranch dressing and mayonnaise options especially for those who wish to spare their calories,” said Green.
3. Chose lean meat: Most fast food trucks have options–choose lean meats like pit beef, chicken, shrimp, tofu, or fish for your proteins. These are essential for muscle growth, enhancing brainpower, boosting metabolism, and maintaining a healthy weight. Fatty meat like bacon puts you at risk of stroke and heart disease.
4. Drinks: The choice of beverage you make is very important. For example, if you chose drinking soda, you will get an average of 400 calories – this is double the amount of calories in a recommended meal. Whenever possible, only drink water – it will save you money and boost your metabolism. According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking two glasses of water increases the metabolic rate by 30 percent.
5. Fruits: If you opt to take a smoothie, go for fresh fruits. On the other hand, if you want to add some proteins, go for yogurt or soy milk, if available.
6. Vegetarian: Most burger food trucks have vegetarian-friendly options such as a heart-healthy turkey burger or a black bean burger. Some fast food trucks also make their ice cream from purely natural ingredients like coconut milk and cashew.
7. Share: Lastly, Green suggested taking some close friends along with you to the food truck. According to some studies, sharing different food items with others means that you will eat less food. Moreover, taking friends with you has an added benefit that you will sample more offerings. You can also enjoy the surroundings together and have fun.
Moderation is essential; by following the above eating healthy tips, you can achieve your health goals and lose weight sustainably.