Dietary Restrictions? 6 Ways You Can Still Enjoy Food
Vive la difference! How to enjoy your dietary restrictions—yes, we said enjoy.
Welcome to the rest of your life, during which you can no longer eat gluten/sodium/dairy/sugar/fat (choose one). Bon appétit!
“It’s common because, as we get older, things don’t work as well,” says Kim Arrey, a registered dietitian in Montreal.
“People develop a heart condition or diabetes. I also have clients with new lactose intolerance and more and more older people coming in with irritable bowel syndrome.”
But new dietary restrictions don’t have to restrict your dining enjoyment.
1. Get sauced
Reduced sodium may be what the doctor ordered, but what if your tastebuds aren’t quite as happy as your heart? A Malaysian research team recently showed that adding Vietnamese fish sauce to everyday foods like tomato sauce and chicken broth makes them taste as though they contain regular salt but with up to 25 per cent less sodium.
2. Apply apps
InRFood, a smartphone app released last year, lets you know if a food product is on your no-fly list, especially if that’s not obvious at a glance. Does the product contain hidden sources of gluten, like malt extract? Invisible dairy ingredients, like whey? Is it overloaded with sugar or sodium? With InRFood, you can scan a barcode while you’re grocery shopping and get instant feedback—including warnings based on your personal settings. Best of all, no more squinting at those impossibly tiny ingredient listings!
3. Unfriend your FODMAPs
When you’re struggling with irritable bowel syndrome, you aren’t always sure which foods will trigger uncomfortable symptoms. That can make mealtime a sort of surprise grab bag.
But a team at Monash University in Australia has developed a set of recommendations, based on clinical evidence, for restricting a group of rapidly fermentable, short-chain carbohydrates in your diet. FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols) are often poorly digested and absorbed, can attract more water into your digestive system or may trigger gassy bacteria activity.
4. Give stevia a chance
Calorie-free stevia, an ingredient extracted from the South American plant’s super-sweet leaves, has been gaining popularity as a sugar replacement. Not only is it 200 times sweeter, it may even have health benefits, like helping to balance cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure.
But many consumers complain about a bitter aftertaste, which manufacturers typically mask with…well, sugar.
5. Like your lactose…when it’s limited
How come that cheesecake went down fine last week, and yet this week it sent you curling into a ball of abdominal agony? If you have lactose tolerance, it could be related to how you ate it.
6. Have fries without fat
Fat-free french fries—can this really be a thing? Absolutely, writes Chuck Underwood, an American blogger at BrandNewVegan.com. So what’s his trick for crispy fries without a drop of fat? Boil them for five minutes first (start with cold water so they’ll cook evenly), then coat them with a mixture of flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and chili powder. Finish off your frites by baking them on a cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes in a 425 F oven.