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Healthy Food Choices at French Restaurants

Updated on August 17, 2012

Healthy Food Choices at French Restaurants

French food maybe notorious for its high butter and cream content, but nowadays, the food at several French restaurants has already lightened up. You will see a lot of dishes made with olive oil rather than butter, and sauces are usually made using pureed vegetables as an alternative to cream. Likewise, the helpings at French restaurants are smaller compared to other restaurants.

If you're getting a meal at a French restaurant, it is a good idea that you begin with something light, like a simple green or vegetable salad. Soup can also be an option only if it's a consommé or onion soup, but do ask to hold the cheese. Avoid the vichyssoise and lobster bisque, since cream is traditionally used for both. Some appetizers to stay away from as well are: escargot (literally swimming in butter) and foie gras. A lot of French bistros feature mussels, which are not a bad choice; but, ask first if they are made with butter prior to ordering. If they are, try to resist the mopping up the mussels' brine with bread—that's where most of the butter will land.

More often than not, you can order a fish entree at a French restaurant. Typically the chef would be obliged to grill or broil it for you, or at the least, saute it in olive oil rather than butter. Do ask to have any sauce on the side. Many French places serve up light fish like sole and sand dabs. You maybe be able to order salmon and tuna as well. Roast chicken is a staple at a bistro. You could discreetly take away the skin before you eat it. You could even relish the coq au vin, chicken in wine, if you do not eat the bacon the dish is seasoned with. Give up the pommes frites (French fries), the customary accompaniment, and request for vegetable sides alternatively. Chicken pot-au-feu—chicken with vegetables in a pot— is another relatively healthy choice.

Some of the things to avoid are medallions of beef or filet mignon topped with Bearnaise sauce, any type of mousse (from crab to chocolate), and creamed spinach.

You can also check these other related reads:

Healthy Food Choices in Chinese Restaurants

How to Maintain Your Diet While Dining Out


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      Sustainable Living 5 years ago

      The food looks and sounds delicious!