Nothing beats the feeling of getting a great deal. And for many, a great deal means “more.” It’s a win.
The reaction is entirely natural, but it’s also very short-sighted, especially when it comes to blood pressure and heart health.
Think about your favorite restaurant. Aside from the food, what draws you there? One factor is undoubtedly the price point. For the money, they give you a lot of great-tasting food. The value to your wallet is the driver.
But do you really need all that food on your plate? It’s no secret that restaurants often serve up two to three times a “normal” portion size. And while your bank account might seem better off for the moment, your heart is certainly paying the price.
Controlling portion size is a key element of promoting heart health. Limiting food intake to roughly a palm-sized portion of protein, half a plate of vegetables, and a quarter plate of whole-grain or starch is about all you need for a filling and nutritious meal.
Seasonings instead of thick sauces can also be a heart-healthy move.
Restaurants also know the tastes people are looking for. Many establishments load salt and sugar into popular items at a rate that far exceeds what you’d likely use at home. These ingredients, when consumed regularly, can increase weight and blood pressure.
When you think of the cost to your health, the value of these meals drops substantially. The cost to physical health compounds the little nutritional value they provide.
Try eating home-cooked meals to reduce portion size and increase the nutritional value of your meals. If you’re still unsure about how much you should be eating and what, it may be worthwhile to try a meal delivery service. These can be great for establishing portions and teaching you some new recipes.
You may want to support your local restaurant with takeout orders during the pandemic. That’s totally reasonable. Try to limit takeout to once per week, and remember you don’t have to eat your entire meal in one sitting or alone; consider splitting it with your partner if you can.