Eating out at restaurants is an enjoyable social experience that you shouldn’t have to miss out on for the sake of your health journey. Many people worry that going to restaurants always means overindulging, however, it is possible to eat healthily when eating out.
Originating in North Bondi, there are now over 100 Oporto stores across Australia and New Zealand, serving Portuguese-style chicken and burgers. While there are higher carbohydrate foods on the menu such as burgers, wraps and pita, lower carbohydrate options are also available.
It’s also completely ok to enjoy a higher carbohydrate option when you really want one. The important thing is that this isn’t a frequent indulgence, and you focus on finding the motivation to get back to your healthy habits afterwards.
Science suggests that a reduced carbohydrate diet is the most effective diet for weight loss. Lower-carb diets are particularly effective for those who struggle with blood glucose control (e.g. people with type 2 diabetes). On top of this, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli or capsicum), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.
To save you time and stress, our accredited dietitians have gone through the Oporto menu and nutritional information and picked out some healthy options. Not all options are strictly low-carb, but we’ve aimed to provide you with the most balanced meals on offer. Vegetarian options are marked with a (v).
If weight loss is your goal, these options will leave you satisfied and can be included as part of a lower-carb eating plan:
- Flame grilled chicken with a ‘lower carb’ side
- Chicken box with a ‘lower carb’ side, ordered without a pita
- Chicken and feta salad
- Chicken salad
- ‘Lower carb’ sides: guacamole (v), Portuguese tomato salad (v), crunchy slaw (v), seasoned avocado (v)
- Sauces: original chilli (v), garlic (v), mayonnaise (v)
These options are all balanced meals but are slightly higher in carbohydrate content:
- Chicken box with a ‘lower carb’ side and half a pita
- Vegan salad (v)
- Sides: grilled corn (v), spicy rice (v)
Enjoy less frequently
These are more indulgent options to be enjoyed, just less often as they are higher in carbohydrates and lower in vegetables. Some of the options may also be fried in oil.
- Any burger, including the Bondi, halloumi and chicken, and Oprego burgers
- Any Rappa
- Any meal box option
- High carbohydrate and deep fried sides, including a whole pita (v), chips (v), and chicken Bolas
- Sauces with added sugar: extremo picante, prego, and lemon and herb
- Any dessert option (v)
Once you have chosen a balanced meal, it’s important to focus on your drink option! The drinks on offer at Oporto include soft drinks, iced tea and juices, which are high in added or naturally occurring sugars. To keep your meal lower in carbohydrates, we recommend opting for water. However, if you’d like to enjoy a sweetened drink, it’s okay to do so on occasion.
Second Nature recipe swaps
Another great alternative to takeaways is cooking your own Second Nature ‘fakeaway’ at home! The great thing about a fakeaway is the recipe can be adapted to improve its nutritional content, and we know exactly what goes into the meal. There’s a number of recipes on our app that could make a delicious Oporto fakeaway, including:
- Peri Peri chicken and vegetables
- Popcorn chicken
Take home message
- Reduced carb diets seem to be the most effective for weight loss.
- If you don’t want to indulge, Oporto offer a number of healthier, lower-carb options.
- Enjoy a burger, pita or side of chips when you really want them, then focus on staying motivated to return to healthy habits afterwards.
- Be mindful of drinks that contain hidden sugars.
- Cooking a Second Nature ‘fakeaway’ at home is another great alternative to ordering takeaway.