Did you know that more than one-fifth of Canadians eat out at a restaurant daily? And that 23% of Canadians eat out once a week. Therefore, restaurants have significant responsibility for producing and offering Canadians a choice of healthy meals.
New research goes into nutrition daily and a new field is emerging called nutritional psychiatry. If this seems a little out there, then you may be surprised to know that 90% of serotonin receptors are in the gut! In fact, there is communication between the gut and the brain via the vagus nerve. It is this gut-brain axis that’s helping us understand the way diet affects diseases, in particular anxiety and depression.
Studies point towards a diet that may be protective against depression. A Mediterranean diet and avoiding inflammation-producing foods may help. Another study details 12 antidepressant nutrients. Some of the foods containing these essential nutrients include mussels, oysters, and salmon. And vegetables and fruits containing these nutrients include cauliflower, romaine lettuce, watercress, spinach, and strawberries.
While it’s important that people suffering from depression get professional help, diet can also be part of that treatment.
As a food service outlet, you can help by offering dishes on your menu that have whole foods, grains, fiber, fresh fruit and vegetables, probiotic-rich foods and the seafood mentioned. This way you are serving the equivalent of happy food to keep your customers happy.
Customers Respect Transparency
If you’re thinking that many of your dishes don’t meet healthy standards because they are deep-fried or another reason and that displaying nutrition data is a step you ought to skip, then think again. The best course of action to take is similar to the approach that fast food giant McDonald’s took when they were forced to cave into displaying nutritional information.
Detail the nutritional information of all your food so it is very easy for customers to understand. And allow your customers to take their own decisions and respect the transparency that you have provided.
But don’t stop there. Start developing a range of healthier menu items just like McDonald’s did. It wasn’t until nutrition data became a must for fast food giants that they started to extend their range to include items such as healthier salads. But don’t make the McDonald’s mistake of producing salads with outrageously unhealthy dressings.
It’s easy to put together a smaller additional menu of super healthy dishes. This can be weaved throughout your main menu or may stand alone. And you can also start looking at your popular less healthy dishes and start making small changes.
Nutritional Value in Food Matters
The link between diet and health is no longer a shaky one. With better research, the information being produced in the 21st century is far more reliable than it was previously.
Today, we have a much better understanding of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. As well as a heap of superfoods, probiotics, grains, vitamins, and minerals that can affect our health.
Not just do we know which foods to avoid, we know which foods to eat in moderation and which foods are the best for us and why.
It has been proven that diet can help in so many ways in avoiding diseases such as osteoporosis and heart-related conditions including heart attacks and thickening of arteries.
Eating a well-balanced diet can also promote benefits such as feeling mentally alert, better physical and mental performance, better sleep, and better mood. We know that eating a healthy diet is the optimal way for our body to perform. Which is why all the top athletes have a carefully monitored healthy diet.
Healthy Food is a Need of Your Customers
It’s not just a few Canadians that need healthy food. Just like many nations Canada is experiencing an increased elderly population and increasing healthcare costs. Many baby boomers absolutely need healthy food as they may have developed diseases in earlier life due to a poor diet. In particular, the onset of heart conditions and diabetes, as well as high blood pressure means that older people demand healthy food that is safe for them to eat.
In addition, there is also another huge section of your customers: up to 10% of Canadians have food allergies or intolerances. They also have an absolute need for food that does not contain certain ingredients.
Millennials are a key market segment for the food service industry. Today’s young consumer is more health conscious than ever and likes to own decisions related to their health and well being. Bigger brands have already started catering to this group with improved and healthy products like low sugar drinks, displaying nutritional information, and providing healthy food options with low calories and high nutrients.
Millennials demand healthy food. They want to be slim and fit and not develop the diseases they see their grandparents battling with. The millennial generation also make up more of your regular customers as they eat out more, so it’s important to give them what they want. Most Millennials are very active and workout regularly. They are looking for optimal nutrition.
As a food service provider and restaurant owner, you can contribute to the cause of your customer and help them live a healthy life. By displaying nutrition facts and providing more healthy options to your menu items, you show your commitment to transparency and improvements. Additionally, this serves as a free marketing strategy. As you know, restaurants heavily rely on customer reviews and word of mouth. The easiest way to get positive reviews and recommendations is to win the trust of your customer with nutrition fact labels and commitment to adopt healthy cooking methods to meet your customer’s needs.
ManuSano Simplifies Nutrition Facts Label Implementation
With MenuSano you can ultimately present the nutritional data of your food in a standardized way. When you calculate the nutritional content of your food you will be able to print out a standard nutrition facts label that is also bilingual. The label is standard for Canada and as such gives details of several macro and micro nutrients. It has the actual amounts and recommended daily amounts or values (RDV) of each.
Canadians have become accustomed to these popular labels. They can easily understand the data and implement the information in terms of their diet.
The labels detail the total amount of calories in the serving and the serving size. It then contains a fat breakdown including total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. The label also features a carbohydrate breakdown in terms of fiber and sugar. Finally, it also details protein and sodium, the vitamins A & C as well as the minerals calcium and iron.
With this data, Canadians can make the right decision for themselves. You are also standing your food service business in good stead by providing all the information that any one of your customers might need. If you don’t currently display nutritional data, then now is your chance to get up-to-date. You can start a free trial with MenuSano today and see how easy it is to produce this sought-after and necessary information.