OT: low sodium restaurant foods

As I explained in another thread, I’m getting my updated COVID booster in a week, and it will be fully effective by the end of this month.

I will start eating restaurant food again for the first time since February 2020. It will be takeout, because returning to restaurant dine-in doesn’t come until some time later in my reopening process. And I’ll go back to shunning restaurant foods during this coming winter, because I’m expecting a new surge.

What will be different from pre-pandemic times is that I will seek out the healthy restaurant foods. The universe of restaurant foods is a nutritional minefield, and it’s actually become worse. Many restaurants have removed items from their menus, and the removed items tend to be the healthier ones or the “less unhealthy” ones. (For example, McDonald’s dropped its salads and grilled chicken burger. The French fries, McNuggets, and crispy chicken burger are all still on the menu. To be fair, I’ve been avoiding McDonald’s ever since I first watched the movie Super Size Me back in 2004, so the Golden Arches has zero reason to care what I think.)

Even before the pandemic, my eating habits were much healthier than those of the average person. Given that most people have maintained or increased their junk food consumption while I’ve been avoiding it completely, I’m now a fish out of water. Avoiding junk food for over 2 years has likely given me a new set of taste buds and a new gut microbiome. I suspect that many of the foods I used to eat and even some of my old favorites will no longer agree with my taste buds. I suspect that the side effects of the restaurant foods I used to eat (food coma and an excessive thirst that no amount of water could quench) will be more pronounced. At this point, eating deep-fried food would be like shooting myself with a tranquilizer dart and would make me so thirsty that I’ll wonder if I can drink up Lake Superior. Visiting rural Indiana or venturing south of the Mason-Dixon line may require learning to hunt and gather my own food.

Avoiding the grease bombs is relatively easy. Avoiding the sugar bombs is relatively easy. But how do you avoid the sodium bombs? It seems that just about all restaurant foods are loaded with obscene amounts of sodium. Is it hard to get restaurants to cut back on the salt just for me?

I know that I cannot expect most restaurants to bend over backwards for me. The average customer has always had deplorable eating habits and would perceive the foods I’ve been eating as tasting like cardboard. Restaurants have well-established protocols, and making the food palatable to me may throw a monkey wrench into the works. The percentage of the population that has been avoiding junk food like I have must surely be tiny. Maybe 1%? 0.5%? 0.1%? 0.01%? Maybe even lower?

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Restaurants have well-established protocols, and making the food palatable to me may throw a monkey wrench into the works

What sort of restaurants do you frequent? You routinely mention McDonald’s and similar establishments when talking about junk food…and rightly so…but I don’t think “restaurant” is the correct term to use if theseplaces are yourpointofreference. .

Choose your establishments wisely and I see no barrier to Righteous Eating. I’ve avoided junk food for a lot longer than you…a good half century or so (not counting the previous years on my mum’s watch)…and I have no problems choosing tasty eats that aren’t loaded with unnecessary ingredients. If I don’t like something I don’t eat it. I ordered Maryland crab cakes for dinner (my birthday bash) last night. They came drizzled with a spicy sauce which I didn’t like…so I scraped it off. The flourless chocolate torte (with birthday candle)that my husband pre ordered was really, really nice but too much to eat after the rest of the meal (I blame the caprese salad)…so I had a bite to show willing and let everyone else finish it up. Simple strategies for healthy restaurant dining