Fat Free Food

How to eat on a low-fat diet at restaurants in Charlotte, NC

The Ga Nuong banh mi from Banh Mi Brothers.

The Ga Nuong banh mi from Banh Mi Brothers.

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How to eat healthy at Charlotte restaurants in 2022

If you’re trying a new diet and don’t know how to order when you go out to eat, check out our guide:


Going on a low fat diet doesn’t mean giving up some of the joys of dining out. On a low-fat diet, the goal is to limit the intake of oils and fats, specifically saturated fats, often in order to improve overall health.

When dining out, here are some tips from the University of California San Francisco Health website to consider as you peruse menus:

  • Limit salad dressings, mayonnaise, gravies and sauces, or order them on the side to control the amount in the dish.

  • Moderate the amount of nuts in dishes.

  • Opt for fish, chicken, turkey and other lean meats.

  • Choose dishes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as dried beans, peas, lentils and tofu.

  • For cheeses, opt for those made from non-fat milk, like mozzarella, ricotta and cottage cheese.

  • Opt for grilled foods over fried.

  • Look for words like “baked,” “broiled,” “roasted,” “steamed” and “garden fresh.”

If you are trying out a low-fat diet in the new year, or you’ve been on it for a while, here are some picks of restaurants and healthy dishes to try in Charlotte.

Banh Mi Brothers

Location: 230 WT Harris Blvd. Suite A-7, Charlotte, NC 28262

Neighborhood: University City

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Dish to try: Try the Ga Nuong for a traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich made with lemongrass grilled chicken served with cilantro, cucumber, jalapeno, pickled daikon and carrots. Hold the house-made mayo to reduce total fat intake.

Burton’s Grill & Bar

Location: 1601 E Woodlawn Rd A, Charlotte, NC 28209

Neighborhood: Park Road

Cuisine: American

Dish to try: General Tso bowl and salad, made with grilled chicken, brown rice, quinoa, julienned vegetables, ginger aioli, almonds, sesame and scallions. Consider requesting the aioli on the side to add a lighter amount.

Hawkers

Location: 1930 Camden Rd #260, Charlotte, NC 28203

Neighborhood: South End

Cuisine: Asian

Dish to try: Green papaya and shrimp salad, with carrots, basil, cilantro, mango, fried shallots and roasted peanuts, topped with a Vietnamese vinaigrette.

Living Kitchen

Location: 2000 South Blvd. Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28203

Neighborhood: South End

Cuisine: Plant based

Dish to try: You don’t have to be vegan to eat at a vegan restaurant. Living Kitchen’s focus on fruits and vegetables is perfect for anyone on a low-fat diet. Try the classic burger, a house made gluten-free quinoa veggie burger topped with lemon parsley hummus, guacamole, cucumber and red onion with a side salad.

New Zealand Cafe

Location: 1717 North Sardis Rd. Suite 6A, Charlotte, NC 28270

Neighborhood: Monroe

Cuisine: Seafood grill and sushi bar

Dish to try: Rainbow roll, a California roll topped with tuna, salmon, white fish, shrimp, avocado and smelt roe.

Roy’s Kitchen and Patio

Location: 3112 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205

Neighborhood: NoDa

Cuisine: Caribbean

Dish to try: Mango Habanero Salmon with a side of black beans and roasted vegetables.

This story was originally published January 12, 2022 6:00 AM.

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Maddie Ellis is a reporting intern with CharlotteFive. She studies English and journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.