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Whether you are a veteran restaurant owner or simply ready for a change, nutrition should be a serious consideration. Even if you plan on serving up food that would be considered anything but healthy food, it is always a good idea to include some lighter, more nutritious options for your health-conscious patrons. You can also improve the nutritional value of your ready favorites with a simple change or two. Here are some tips for building healthy foods into your restaurant menu.

Offer Various Vegetable Options

Even if most of your customers consider french fries as a vegetable, you will have some patrons who actually want something green on their plate! You can satisfy all of your customer’s tastes by including favorites such as fries and onion rings and popular healthy options like steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus. 

You might even want to include some vegetarian or vegan options for your serious health nuts. Explore new recipes that showcase your signature tastes while removing the guilt sometimes associated with high-calorie meals.

Avoid Using Trans Fats

Trans fats can lead to inflammation and increase the risk of heart disease. These unhealthy fats are also notorious for raising bad cholesterol and clogging your arteries. 

You can easily eliminate trans fats by substituting healthier fats for any trans fats in your recipes. Instead of using shortening or margarine in your baking and cooking, turn to healthier fats such as olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil. 

Offer Salad as an Entree

Even at restaurants where there is nothing else healthy on the menu, health-conscious people will always have something to turn to if you include at least one entree salad. Just make sure that your salad choices are actually healthy. Some salads are so full of croutons, bacon, and fatty dressings that they are a far cry from healthy foods. While there is nothing wrong with including a few of those, too, try to have at least one truly healthy salad on your menu.

Even if your restaurant isn’t known for its healthy foods you can make your menu healthier with a few smart substitutions and additions. Stay true to your brand, but try to include healthy options that fit in well. For example, offer a lettuce wrap at your sandwich joint or a veggie burger at your burger spot. Finally, find ways to improve the nutritional value of the foods you already serve.

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