Nutritionists, as a group, are unsurprisingly not too fond of buffets for people. There’s too much risk of indulging in too many calories, they’ll say. Then they’ll complain about the high levels of sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and whatever else that’s bad to eat.
Of course, it’s easy to tune off that noise when you’re already in Atlantic City and indulging yourself at the Borgata Buffet. After all, you’d ask yourself, what do nutritionists really know about the real world? It’s not as if they go to buffets themselves, right?
As it turns out, nutritionists do go on buffets sometimes. Obviously, they don’t indulge all that often. And they’re somewhat picky with what they eat. But you can follow their recommendations if you still want to stick to a healthy diet when you’re at a buffet.
A Whole Lotta Veggies
This isn’t surprising, is it? That’s why it’s first on the list. When you get to the salad bar, try to go with as much of the raw vegetables as you can. In fact, you may want them as side dishes even as you go with the main dishes.
If you’re at an Italian buffet, try lots of sliced tomatoes first before you go wild with the pasta. And if you’re going with lots of fried foods and noodles, you can go with green beans and garlic broccoli. You might also want to try Buddha’s delight if it’s available.
Dark, Leafy Greens
It may surprise you to find out that some greens are better than others. The darker greens are actually better for you, so you may want to lay off the iceberg lettuce. Go with the spinach or the spring mix instead, because these options are packed with more nutrients.
What about breakfast buffets? Nutritionists go with omelets, if they can be made to order. It’s not surprising that nutritionists generally want that high level of control over their food. That way, they can ramp up the vegetable content while they also keep a light ration of ham to cheese.
They do warn that buffet omelets can get pretty large. So, if they’re making omelets with 3 eggs, try if you can get it with just one or two eggs instead.
As a rule, nutritionists frown of fried food. But they know that people can’t resist the temptation, and some nutritionists are even known to indulge in fried seafood. Among the fried food options, fried seafood is actually the best bet.
This is because seafood is naturally light in calories, so that means a lower risk of weight gain. Plus, they’re generally packed with lots of protein.
To be really healthy, you might even ignore the breaded fried options. And if you can get seafood that’s not fried, all the better. Try baked tilapia or steamed shrimp instead.
Are you at a Mexican buffet? Load up on salsa along with some sauteed peppers when you’re indulging in fajitas, nachos, and tacos. Salsa is almost like a superfood, because it’s actually a vegetable. It adds lots of flavor, yet it doesn’t load up on the calories!