How to Satisfy Your Healthy Kansas City Cravings

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Our middle-of-the-country locale has resulted in a lot of culinary advantages. A state wealthy in farmland and ranches makes “farm-to-table” a daily expectation, not an exception to the rule. It has resulted in defining dishes the world tries to duplicate and comfort foods that has the whole country pulling up chairs to the dining room table. Our kitchen is the country’s kitchen and we are not ashamed to boast about it. 

When many people think of our iconic food, barbecue is the first thought. And why not? Once you’ve had it, who can get the thought of crunchy, juicy, and fatty burnt ends out of your mind? The fact that burnt ends were tossed in the trash until the 1970s when Bryant’s turned them into a delicacy kills us. The act is near criminal, now. 

Our food culture is a serious business that can if we let it, conflict with our passion for a healthier lifestyle. Fortunately, not all of our coveted dishes compromise our waistlines, however. We have equally legendary dishes highlighting fresh, healthy, and sustainable ingredients that can be found at almost every restaurant or duplicated at home. Here’s how to up your healthy, but decidedly delicious, game. 

Develop Nutritional Relationships

Before you dine, learn about the relationship between nutrition and reducing your risks for things like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. A few simple changes that become part of your routine can have a huge benefit to your health. For example, choosing fresh fruit over sugary snacks, lean meat over fatty, and increasing your vegetable intake all have tremendously beneficial health effects. 

Perform Dining Out Recon

Kansas City food culture is progressive and very mindful of providing delicious and healthy choices. While there are many restaurants specializing in healthy dishes, many others offer healthy options alongside more indulgent choices. To avoid being drawn to less healthy menu items, don’t give yourself the opportunity to be swayed. Instead, go online to look at the menu before you get to your favorite eatery. Make your healthy choice and set it in stone, so you do not even have to take a menu once you sit down. Remember, menus are created to make everything appealing, so the descriptions can make you forget your healthy mission in 3.5 seconds. 

Order First

Another smart move in healthy dining is to order first. Let’s face it; it’s all delicious but every calorie-heavy meal impacts your health. Rather than asking or listening to what everyone else is ordering and changing your mind because that sounds good, too, commit to your healthy option and order first. 

Don’t Dine Out Overly Hungry

Never skip a meal in anticipation of dining out. If you sit down starving you’re not likely to pass on the unhealthy options when you planned on sticking to the healthy versions. You might consider eating a healthy snack before you dine, such a handful of nuts or some carrot sticks. A snack will help fortify your resolve.

Look for Clues

The way a dish is described on a menu can give you clues to how it’s prepared. Look for words including “grilled,” “broiled” or “steamed,” meaning the food is cooked with less fat, and avoid dishes with descriptions such as “fried,” “breaded,” “smothered,” “alfredo,” “rich” and “creamy.”

Avoid Red and Processed Meats

We may have perfected barbeque, but even this must be in moderation. Eating meat is a good way to get important vitamins, minerals, and protein but eating too much red meat increases your risks of cancer and heart disease. Try replacing some of your options with fish, chicken, and vegetarian options for improved health.

Opt-Out When it Comes to Alcohol

While many of us are aware that alcoholic beverages are often very high in calories, fewer of us know that even small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.

Focus on Healthy Indulgences

Food is powerful and what we eat matters to our overall and long-term health. That does not mean however that we are doomed to boring meals. Kansas City is rich with some of the best healthy dining options in the world and our markets are replete with fresh options ready for our creative culinary interpretations. Instead of thinking about what foods to avoid, think about the rich and healthy options you can have the pleasure of adding to your life that brings both enjoyment and health benefits. 

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