There's no place quite like your favorite bar and grill, places like 316 Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill. It's a great place to hang out and unwind after work or watch a game with your friends on the weekend. But let's face it, bar food isn't the healthiest option around. It's fine to treat yourself now and then, but you don't want to overdo it on the fried food and fatty snacks – not only are they bad for your long-term health, they can leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable for the rest of the night. Luckily, many bar snacks can be made healthier with just a little tweaking. Take a look at a few tips that will make your favorite bar snacks healthier.
Skip the Chips
Go ahead and order that spicy salsa or creamy guacamole – salsa is basically just vegetables and spices and is very low-calorie, and the avocados in guacamole are full of healthy fats. But instead of ordering chips for dipping, ask for a plate of raw veggies instead.
Even if they don't have veggie plates on the menu, most bars will have carrots and celery, and maybe even bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, or cauliflower. Dipping these in your salsa and guacamole will give you that satisfying crunch without the unhealthy side effects.
Go Baked, Not Fried
Whenever you have the option, choose items that are baked instead of fried. It can make a big difference in the health effects of the dish. For example, consider potato skins. Baked potato skins aren't bad at all as far as bar snacks go. A baked potato with the skin on is low in fat and cholesterol and high in potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. As long as you go easy on the cheese and sour cream on top, that potato skin is a reasonably healthy snack. However, when you fry that potato skin, the grease, fat, and salt that are added to the potato in the frying process go a long way toward canceling out any health benefits.
Potato skins aren't the only things that are better off baked. Choose baked (or grilled) chicken instead of fried as well – it's a simple way to make your buffalo wings, chicken sandwich, or chicken salad healthier as well.
Be Careful With Condiments
There's nothing that terribly unhealthy about a burger, a BLT, or a grilled chicken sandwich. What adds calories and fat to all these dishes is the condiments and additions that go on top. However, with some simple substitutions, you can keep the calories under control.
Ask for mustard instead of mayo on sandwiches. Mayonnaise is almost entirely fat, coming in at a whopping 90 calories per tablespoon, while mustard has less than 30 calories per tablespoon. If you can't manage without the mayo, at least ask for light mayo, which weighs in at around 35 calories per tablespoon. You should also avoid ranch and blue cheese as sandwich toppings – order a vinaigrette instead, and have them put it on the side so that you only use what you need.
It's fine to treat yourself to a night out and some tasty snacks, but it's also important to practice moderation. With these tips, you can indulge yourself in your favorite bar foods without wrecking your diet or damaging your health.Share