If your conscience is punishing you about partaking in buffet-style restaurant meals, park that guilt! There are actually many good things about buffets. From a nutritional standpoint, here are a few:
- Variety of flavours. East Indians, for instance, have known for millennia that a balance of flavours in a meal are good for digestion and satisfaction.
- Variety of nutrients. Few menus offer single dishes that have a good balance of protein, carbohydrate, fat, minerals and vitamins. A good buffet will provide a well-rounded selection of nutrients that you otherwise might not achieve by the end of your day.
- You ARE in control of how much is on your plate. The average nutritionist’s attitude on buffets is AVOID them because it’s too easy to overeat. While I agree that one must exercise some won’t-power at a buffet, I believe it’s actually easier to control your portions when it’s not a set plate.
- Try foods you saw in the produce aisle but didn’t know what to do with.
You’ve heard avocadoes are good for us, but never got around to making or trying guacamole. Or, you’ve seen blue potatoes at the store but wondered if they tasted the same as white ones. Here’s your opportunity to try them without risk!
- Be inspired by new-to-you recipes, or ways of preparing ordinary foods. Even if you’re a ‘foodie’ and have tried many vegetables, you may not have ever thought of preparing them in the way that you find them at a buffet. Be adventurous!
Here are my recommendations for the best buffets in Ottawa, from a nutritional standpoint:
- The Green Door: Vegetarian. Pay by weight. All items have common allergens identified. Main St., Old Ottawa south.
- The Table: Vegetarian cuisine. Pay by weight. All items have a full disclosure of ingredients. Wellington Village at Holland Ave.
- Mandarin Buffet: An Asian food nirvana. Includes sushi. No MSG added. Kanata, Orleans and Riverside+Hunt Club locations.
Enjoy your buffet experience!