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Schnitzel, Calories and Real Food: What's on Your Menu?

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

If there were an underlying theme at the Nutrition & Health Conference this week, it most definitely was: ‘To stay healthy, choose to eat real food’.

The more we delve into the topic of healthy eating, the more it appears to shift from counting calories and fat to focusing on flavor combinations as well quality and sources of ingredients.

Imagine this scenario: you are looking to lead a somewhat healthy lifestyle but also want to enjoy yourself. So next time you are at a local restaurant (which claims to source its ingredients from sustainable sources), you have a choice between the following two dishes. Which one would you go for?

Skinless, boneless grilled chicken breast with a side of steamed vegetables and rice


Crispy and tender schnitzel with warm homemade apple sauce, local greens, and topped with artisan-made pickle

For me, it is clear: I am going for the schnitzel!  For an operator or a chef, I would imagine that preparing and serving a schnitzel dish would be a lot more enjoyable as well.

Yes, the schnitzel probably has more fat, but I know that I am getting something that:

  1. Doesn’t remind me of a TV dinner, and, in fact,
  2. I wouldn’t be able to easily make at home;
  3. Has great flavors;
  4. Is made from high quality ingredients, which to me, means nourishing by default.

It is a well-known fact that today’s consumers are more knowledgeable about what they eat. In addition, the old beliefs that fat and carbs are evil are being replaced with new research findings. All of this is creating a very different paradigm in which healthy eating is no longer about counting calories and fat. Rather, it is about where calories and fat are coming from.

More and more consumers are looking to stay healthy by eating real food. You can create a fantastic menu that challenges chef’s creativity while offering a customer a truly nourishing meal.

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