Eating healthy while on the go is always one of the hardest things for people who are dieting or trying to eat better. There are temptations of delicious yet unhealthy foods all around us. It is certainly possible to eat well when you are out and about. You can even dine healthy at burger joint. The key is to do it right!
Now, before I continue this post, I have a confession: I absolutely love FIVE GUYS. This is one of my go-to places when I am out and about around lunch or dinner time. It is by far my favorite joint to go for a fully loaded, juicy bacon cheeseburger. I do however pay for it whenever I “cheat” and eat it that way. I am very sensitive when I consume certain oils and wheat gluten. I actually feel widespread discomfort, bloating and brain fog after I gorge on a traditional meal there. Multiple studies show that gluten is pro-inflammatory to the body when consumed (1). Additionally, an overabundance of inflammatory omega-6 oils end up dominating our cell membranes and keep our bodies inflamed (2).
The Five Guys Experiment
I decided to design an experiment at Five Guys for people to test out for themselves and see how they feel. When putting it together, I asked a cook at Five Guys, “Do you cook your burgers or any of the toppings that go on them in any oils?” The cook there laughed and said, “Oh no! It all just goes on the skillet as is!” This is fantastic because they do not cook their burgers or veggies with any inflammatory oils. However, they do cook their french fries in peanut oil, which is delicious, but also incredibly high in calories and omega-6 fatty acids (the ones that make you systemically inflamed). Here’s the experiment I came up with:
- Order a burger with all of the toppings (minus condiments) on a lettuce wrap
- Order a burger with all of the toppings (minus condiments) on a lettuce wrap + fries
- Order a burger with all of the toppings (minus condiments) on a bun + fries
- Order just fries
- Order just a burger with all of the toppings (minus condiments) on a bun
Try this out and see how you feel after eating each meal. When I eat #2, 3, 4, and 5, I feel discomfort and even achy pains. However, when I order just #1, I don’t develop any pain or feelings of uneasiness. Doing this experiment shows that there are always healthy eating options in all different kinds of restaurants. I recommend to always go for a lean and green option and stay on the lower end for carbohydrate intake. You can always see if a restaurant can substitute a side like french fries for a baked sweet potato for example.
Why is #1 the best option?
There are no oils added to the meats and vegetables during the cooking process. It was purely just all natural, no preservative, fresh beef cooked on a skillet with the natural fats on the cooking area. #1 is a meal is ketogenic, anti-inflammatory, and very satisfying from the fat content of the beef as well (3). The key really is to eat it as a low carbohydrate meal. At Five Guys, you can get all of the toppings you desire for free as well, and they even give you extra ones if you request it. Take advantage of these extra veggies! I always get extra green peppers, grilled onions, mushrooms and lettuce with my bun-less and frie-less meals.
Is a ketogenic diet right for me?
The Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean diet has been shown to help people lose weight, improve non-atherogenic lipid profiles, lower blood pressure and even improving fasting blood glucose levels (3). However, no two people are the same when it comes to their nutritional needs. Always remember to consult with your doctor to determine if ketogenic diet is personally beneficial to your overall health. Dr. Bobby Koser is currently accepting new patients for nutritional consultations and would be happy to address your specific health needs and concerns. Click here to schedule a free consultation!