Dining out can seem tough on a low protein diet, but it’s not impossible. Here are some helpful tips for going out, including what to look out for and how to prepare for a fun time on the town.
Plan ahead as much as possible
If you can, view the menu online ahead of time. Call the restaurant to ask any questions you have. They may even allow you to bring low protein products from home so the kitchen can make a special dish.
Try to leave enough protein allowance
For yourself or your loved one on a low protein diet, try to leave enough protein allowance for your meal. Track breakfast and lunch so that you know how much is left for dinner at a restaurant.
Pro tip: ingredient card
Create a card that lists the foods you or your loved one must avoid, and give it to your server or share with the kitchen staff. Consider listing meat, fish, cheese, eggs, beans, soy products like tofu, seeds, and nuts.
Ask questions and be aware of “hidden protein”
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what’s on the menu. In recent years, many restaurants have become used to questions about ingredients and dish preparation. You always want to know what’s in your food.
Also, be sure to avoid “hidden protein.” This is when an ingredient contains a high-protein element but often the name does not say it. An example is Caesar Salad Dressing, which often contains anchovies, although you would not know that from the dressing’s name.
FYI: The following ingredients may contain high protein foods:
*Phenylalanine is important for those with Phenylketonuria (PKU) and Tyrosinemia (TYR) to track.
If you or your loved one has PKU, we have these tips printed on our Dining Out with PKU education guide. Download your copy in English or Spanish on our Learning Center page.
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