Healthy Food Choices in Indian, Chinese, British and American Cuisines

| Author: Manoja Kalakanti

Don’t we all just love to eat? Don’t we all have a sincere love towards food? Don’t we all look at food as something much more than just a way to curb our hunger? That is perhaps the reason why food is such a big part of our lives. Food is integral. We enjoy food. We look forward to every meal of the day! Food sustains us. It is something that helps us live life to the fullest. Food is tasty, comforting and makes good times come together. It helps us feel better when our health feels low.

Healthy Choices In Every Cuisine

We, humans, bond over food on all possible occasions. It’s one on the most versatile things we do. Man will give up anything but the inclination towards food and how food brings happiness in the plate. The angst starts to sink in when the food that we constantly bond with, starts to get a little harmful for us. A little too much of anything is bad. Sadly, with unhealthy food, we don’t know a stop button. We go overboard with food and it increases every time we eat. Ignorance actually becomes bliss!

We all see ourselves in restaurants, fast food centres and hotels every weekend and possibly weekdays too! What is it about restaurant food that we absolutely relish so much? The fact that it’s so appealing to the eyes, the food’s aromatic smell, the bonding with others over it, and most of it, the taste that lingers with us, clearly shows our dependability on outside food.

Grabbing a Starbucks, dining out while on the way back from work, getting a pizza delivered when sick or too tired are some common things we all do. There are a number of reasons for this. Outside food fits perfectly in most of our lifestyles and we think we are blessed with it! It’s the convenience, the necessity sometimes, and the food experience we all get from restaurants that usually outgrows the feeling for home-cooked food.

Troubles of Eating Out

We care about our health and the health of our loved ones. The health freaks among us are so particular about each morsel they put inside their body that they think a hundred times before dining out. Healthy food isn’t too common around us.

Of course, it’s fun. But not always healthy. There are a couple of reasons why health fanatics would always prefer home cooked meals rather than outside food. Cleanliness, purest form of ingredients used, faster food, more nutrient dense and the affections it’s made with are just some of the reasons. In all these, home food always beats the commercial restaurants. However, the excitement of eating outside never dies.


Well, there could be easier ways to deal with this. You could be a fitness freak and yet would love to eat outside. Maybe your lifestyle makes you do it. Whatever the reason, if you want to eat out, do it by all means. You just need to give it a little thought.

Eating out doesn’t mean giving up on your health. You could enjoy every bite of restaurant food without harming your body or growth. There are virtually endless choices when it comes to food and cuisines all over the world. We bring you a list of the healthiest options you can go for when you eat out, regardless of what cuisine it is and regardless of what part of the world you’re in!

American Cuisine:

Like all cuisines, American cuisine reflects its history. Bread, dairy, cheese, eggs, flour have all been some main ingredients in the original American cuisine. All vegetables are widely used but mainly all root vegetables are used in particular. This cuisine uses all meats like chicken, beef, seafood, turkey and more. But the cuisine today is more modern. You have food spreads with French fries, burgers, pizzas, apple pie, macaroni and cheese, McDonald’s and much more. The food has a lot more of sugars, corn starch and unhealthy fats in them.


Don’t Eat This:

Sloppy Joe’s are the typical go-to burgers in the American cuisine. The flour buns, the tomato-mayo filling and the meat which is usually beef is a typical classic. McDonald’s and pizzas are a favourite go-to for everyone as well. Sweets and fried foods are also typically famous. Breakfast options like pancakes and waffles at restaurants are sugar mines. Alcoholic drinks and cocktails should be avoided as much as possible.

Eat This:

While deciding what to eat from American cuisine, you can always choose healthy stuff. There might not be a lot of options but there are a few in which you will never go wrong. Breakfasts outside can be fruits and smoothies, plus brown bread, whole wheat cereals, hard boiled eggs and much more similar foods.

For other meals, you can have brown rice, meat steaks with grilled or sautéed vegetables, smoothies of fruits and vegetable smoothies. Roasted turkey meat with sides of vegetable and sweet potato mash all are a healthy variation.

The Brunswick stew, the Panera bread, Jason’s deli’s sandwiches, all have very healthy options. Noodles and company offer whole wheat dishes. Au Bon Pain serves up sandwiches, soups, salads, and hot entrees. Buffet-style Chipotle’s burritos, taco, and salads are also there. Do check out the Atlanta bread’s entrée salads like Salsa Fresca Salmon Salad. Even at McDonald’s you can choose wraps and grilled chicken to avoid any unwanted carbs. Also, check out Taco Del Mar’s 555-calorie Mondito-size burritos! Baked fish, baked meat, and vegetables are all good choices. For drinks always go for healthy juices when out. Keep your sugar intake low in your coffees and juices.

Indian Cuisine:

Indian cuisine is all about spices and traditions. India has 29 states and almost each state has its own food type. The country’s food is commonly divided into eastern food, north Indian and south Indian food. Hence, what you get to eat outside largely depends on which part of the country you are.


Don’t Eat This:

India eats a lot of spices, oil, and grains. Meat is also quite popular. Although beef and pork aren’t favourites, mutton, chicken, and other meats are. While out in search of restaurant foods, you will find a lot of rice dishes, sweets, heavy spices etc. Try and avoid the biryanis, pulaos, thalis, fried puris of the chola bhatura, pav bhaji etc. These have a plethora of spices and oil. Also, there are lots of fast food chains like KFC and other local ones that are unhealthy to choose.

Eat this:

While on the Indian roads, you can opt for very healthy juices like the sugarcane juice and lassi. For food, you can go for idli which is a steamed south Indian dish. The Mughlai cuisine offers scrumptiously spicy kababs both non-veg and vegetarian that are marinated in aromatic spices & yogurt and then grilled on tandoors. For vegetarians, choose palak paneer, a very healthy option with proteins and iron.

You will also find fast food and chat counters in India. The best option in chat is bhel. Subway is another great option in this place and so is the steak house.

Chinese Cuisine:

cuisine that originated from China and then became famous in all parts of the world including most Asian and American places. Chinese cooking also uses a lot of spices and sauces but these are very different from the spices used in India or any other parts of the world. Chinese cooking is mostly boiled or steamed and hence is known to be pretty healthy. Their food is simple, salty, halaal meat, spicy, sweet & light with seasonings.


Don’t Eat This:

Today, Chinese food is altered in all restaurants around the world to meet the taste buds of every place. Although most of it is said to be steamed food, don’t eat the BBQ spare ribs at a Chinese outlet. This appetizer has more than 600 calories! Fried rolls which are quite popular should be avoided too. They are flour based and are fried. Another no-no is the famous fried rice they serve. The rice is white, plus the countless calories in meat, eggs and vegetables is added, no wonder how the calories climb fast!

Eat This:

Chinese dishes also serve easy healthy variations. Eat their steamed rice, so much better than fried or anything else. Try their clear soups. Pure Chinese flavours and boiled meat, corn, and other vegetables taste great and are light on the tummy. Tofu is an excellent option for vegetarians and protein lovers. You can eat their steamed veggies too!

Middle-Eastern Cuisine:

Fresh, wholesome, healthy and rich, middle-eastern cuisine involves a lot of countries’ cuisines. Grape leaves, chard, cabbage, rice, ground meat, pine nuts, spices are used. Many vegetables are similarly stuffed and stewed or baked, Vegetables such as squash, onion, tomato, eggplant, peppers, and carrots are famously used. Lots of dips made of nuts and lentils are used. Meat is also a favourite. The spice, however, is low in this cuisine.


Don’t Eat This:

They have a pizza version of their own called the manakeesh. It is a round bread sprinkled with cheese, meat, and herbs. Mansaf is a rice dish from Jordon and is packed with calories. So are the rich khabsa rice dishes. All rice dishes involve a lot of olive oil. The famous baklawa sweet is a sugar mine that should be avoided.

Eat This:

The shawarma is a dish of veggies and grilled meat wrapped in either a flat thin bread or the pita bread. It’s delicious! The koftas are very healthy. They’re best served with a distinctive Arab sauce. In the Arab region, you’ll find them in cylinder shapes. Shish Tawook is served with garlic paste. It is simple skewered chicken dish that is hugely popular in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and other Gulf regions. Dishes are served with fries and pita bread which can be avoided. Fatoush, the tangy salad is one of the Middle East’s gift to the world and Hummus, which tops the list, is a spread made of chickpea and is used with almost everything. The garlic makes it extremely aromatic and healthy.

British Cuisine:

Like all, this cuisine has its old, traditional ways of cooking its dishes. British food is very similar to the most American foods you will eat. Traditionally based on beef, lamb, pork, chicken and fish, British cuisine is generally served with potatoes and any other vegetable. The most common and typical foods eaten include sandwiches, fish and chips, pies like the Cornish pasty, trifle dessert, and roast dishes.


Don’t Eat This:

Like all the typical junk and fast food found in the world, British cuisine has a lot of it too. Avoid the general pizzas and burgers. Also, fish and chips which are pretty famous should be avoided because the fish is deep fried and chips are also fried. The English breakfast is also very famous all around the world. You can have eggs that are pan fried but avoid the wedges, commercial beans, sausages, bread and the sugary spreads & drinks. Sweets include puddings, pastries, and cakes that can be very sugary.

Eat This:

Steak type food is quite popular and quite famous as well. Made in a healthy way, they are roasted or grilled with meat and veggies and a little sauce to top it. Pasta can be had in the whole wheat versions. Sunny side up eggs, whole wheat or multi-grain bread are all good options to think while ordering your food. Choose dishes with more fruits and vegetables in their purest form possible! Choose more of salads and juices.

Whatever cuisine you try, whichever hotel or restaurant you visit, always make sure what you are eating is at least 80% healthy for you. Restaurant dishes aren’t completely harmful, but they have a lot of hidden ingredients inside them that are added for better taste, better colour and to retain the freshness. So, regardless of how healthy you are or not, you can definitely try to choose better versions of starters, main meals, drinks, and desserts.

This food might always win your heart but it can also do a lot of harm to people of all ages. It’s always wise to think before you put anything in your mouth. Just a little thoughtfulness will make sure that food at restaurants will only give bring good times and good memories. Make sure you make a lot of them. Happy dining!

Healthy Food Choices in Different Cuisines – Options to Try – PDF

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