/ Healthy Menu Options, Special Diet

Did you know that one in every three Americans is following a specific diet? While low-calorie, low-fat and other traditional restrictive ways of eating will never go away, more lifestyle-focused diets like paleo, keto, and Whole30 are starting to take center stage. Individuals may choose to follow a lifestyle diet for a number of reasons, such as weight loss, lowering environmental impact, or just simply eating “clean”. While each lifestyle diet has specific guidelines to follow, they all focus on whole foods with minimal processing.

With the help of menu labeling and required nutrition information, consumers looking to simply avoid nutrients have all the information they need at their fingertips. However, reaching diners who want a very specific lifestyle-focused meal takes a little more work. The good news is that the summer is a perfect time to try out some new dishes that can draw these customers who are focusing on a special diet to dine with you!

The keto diet is all about high fat, moderate protein, and an extremely restrictive amount of carbohydrates. This means no pasta, rice, baked goods, and even limits the amount of fruits and veggies someone can eat in a day. While some may look at the keto diet as a way to eat endless amounts of butter and cheese, there are plenty of other sources of healthy fats. Avocado, coconut, olives, salmon, and some vegetable oils are all rich sources of fat that also provide a slew of other beneficial nutrients. The good news is there’s no shortage of flavor with all the high-fat ingredients that this diet allows!

The paleo diet is based off the principle that for people to be at their healthiest, they should eat a diet similar to our Paleolithic ancestors. This diet is rich in lean meats, seafood, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables.  Explore different cooking methods such as grilling or smoking to give your diners a savory summer meal. That’s a great way to add flavor without needing added salt or sugar. Without limitations on the amounts of veggies someone can eat, you can also explore the bountiful summer produce and offer paleo-friendly salads and other veggie-focused dishes.

The Whole30 diet is meant to “cleanse” the body. It encourages a diet rich in lean meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and natural fats. Sensing a pattern here? Create colorful plates using a variety or fruits and vegetables mixed with fresh seafood. You can also try substituting veggie noodles for pasta. Zucchini is the most obvious choice, but you could try other veggies such as carrots or sweet potatoes. You could also take a stab at a Whole30 dessert. While added sugars aren’t allowed on this diet, there’s a lot of inspiration to be had with sweet summer fruits, like berries, peaches, and melons.

If you are looking for more help creating a summer menu that fits one or all of these special lifestyle diets, MenuTrinfo is here to help!  Give us a call today to see how you can kick off summer with some bright and healthy new offerings.