In this article about seed oils, we will discuss my top tips for avoiding seed oils at restaurants:
Healthy fats are essential for metabolic health, hormonal health, brain function, energy and beautiful hair, skin and nails. These fats include olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds and fatty fish. The “unhealthy” fats I recommend avoiding are those high in Omega 6 fats, which can be pro-inflammatory, as well as ultra processed cooking oils. Vegetable oils (commonly known as seed oils across social media), are both high in these pro-inflammatory fats and ultra processed, which is why I recommend avoiding them.
They are, however, widely used in most restaurant settings, so here are my top tips for avoiding seed oils when you eat out…
Many restaurants are willing to accommodate your needs if you ask. For instance, you can ask the waiter to have your food cooked in butter or olive oil instead of vegetable oils. It may also help to call ahead to ensure that the restaurant will be able to meet your needs as well as let them know in advance.
Opt for dishes that are grilled, broiled, or steamed rather than fried. These cooking methods are less likely to involve the use of seed oils. Of course, always feel free to ask if you are unsure, and your waiter can check with the kitchen to figure out which options are suitable for you.
Stay away from deep-fried foods, as they are almost always cooked in seed oils (which are recycled and reused repeatedly). Instead, look for menu items that are baked, roasted, or sautéed with healthier fats such as olive oil or butter. Unfortunately, even most veggie side dishes like brussels sprouts and crispy cauliflower spend time in the deep frier at some point…
Most salad dressings and sauces contain seed oils such as canola oil or soybean oil because it is a cheaper alternative to olive oil. Always ask for dressings on the side so that you can control how much you use or better yet request olive oil and vinegar or lemon on the side to dress your own salad. This is also the case for most sauces, so to play it safe I request them on the side.
While it might seem like a menu item such as a side salad or chicken breast is seed oil free, these oils are unfortunately used liberally in most restaurant kitchens. It never hurts to ask your waiter, or even send the restaurant an email ahead of time, to make sure that you can get exactly what you want.