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Staying On Track at a Middle Eastern Restaurant

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Have you been itching to try that new Middle Eastern place in your neighborhood but unsure how to navigate the menu? Middle Eastern cuisine is known for incorporating fresh, healthy ingredients but individual choices can vary widely in nutritional value and calorie content.

Here are 10 tips for ordering that will keep you on track, as first seen in our column:

  1. Chicken, as shawarma or kebobs, is a safe entrée, just be sure to consider the nutritional value of any side you order.
  2. Baba ganoush can be a lower carb alternative for hummus.
  3. Lentil soup, while high in fiber and protein, may also be high in sodium.
  4. Consider dishes with lean protein choices, such as sirloin, chicken, fish, grilled shrimp, lentils or chickpeas.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask to substitute sides with a vegetable, such as a salad.
  6. Avoid gyro’s that may have high fat content.
  7. Request cucumber slices as an alternative to pita for dipping.
  8. Eat falafel and kibbeh sparingly, as both of these dishes are deep-fried.
  9. Try brown rice instead of white for more fiber, but remember this is just as many carbs and calories.
  10. Watch the carbs – it adds up quickly!

For more details on navigating a menu of Middle Eastern food, check out the original guide on You can also apply these tips at one of our Eat Fit partner restaurants Cleo's Medditerranean Cuisine or Attiki.

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