How To Find A Vetted Healthy Restaurant When Eating Out

We talk a lot here at the Templeton Wellness Foundation about the importance of a healthy diet – and for good reason. Cancer patients, in particular, are advised to carefully watch what they eat. Consequently, it’s a good idea to eat at home where you have full control over the ingredients that go into each dish and how the food is prepared. But there are times when you may be traveling and eating out becomes a necessity, and there are times when you may just want to go out and enjoy food that is prepared by someone else for a change.

Instead of throwing caution to the wind and taking your chances on randomly selected restaurants, what if you could choose between those restaurants that were certified healthy by a team of people who understand the importance of fresh, healthy food? Restaurants that serve food that you can feel good about eating.

That’s exactly what we’ve done here at the Templeton Wellness Foundation. As a 35+ year cancer survivor, I want to do all I can to help cancer patients in their battle for their life. I know what it’s like to travel on business and how difficult it can be to stay on task with the nutritionally balanced meals I need to stay healthy. I understand there are times when dining out is a welcome break from the routine of cooking and preparing meals at home.

I felt so strongly about the importance of finding credible places to eat when dining out, that I created The Templeton List, a totally FREE guide to the healthiest restaurants in America. My team surveys thousands of restaurants in all 50 states, asking seven critical questions in an effort to determine whether the food they serve is healthy enough for cancer patients – or for anyone who wants to be sure the food they’re ordering is nutritionally sound. If a restaurant meets all seven criteria for ingredient, preparation, and environmental guidelines, then they are given five stars. The rating goes down based on how many criteria are missing. Here’s how it works.

The Templeton List: Your FREE Guide to the Healthiest Restaurants in America

When you visit, you are presented with a box to enter the city/state you’re interested in. You’ll then be shown a list of our hand-selected restaurants that meet our strict guidelines, along with the star rating and list of criteria they meet. If a restaurant meets all seven of the criteria we critique (for ingredient, preparation, and environmental guidelines), then they are given five stars. The rating goes down based upon how many criteria are missing.

The seven criteria our team uses to determine if they meet our standards include:

  1. Is the food you serve locally sourced? It’s no secret that fresh fruits and vegetables lose much of their nutritional quality when shipped long distances. In fact, the nutrients in fresh produce are diminished within 24 hours of being picked. That’s why fresh produce is often exposed to chemicals, gasses, or waxes in order to preserve food for long-distance transport. Add to that the fact that locally grown food is picked at its peak ripeness, when it is most nutritionally dense, and you can see why food that is locally sourced is preferred.
  2. Is the food you serve organically grown, free of pesticides and chemicals? In a news article we published on The Templeton Wellness Foundation website, those who eat organic food regularly are 25% less likely to develop cancer. In fact, the 68,946 study participants noted were found to be 73% less likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 21% less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer. Check out the enlightening article: New Study Says You Can Cut Your Cancer Risk By Eating Organic
  3. Do you use healthy, non-hydrogenated oils? Junk foods are typically made with hydrogenated vegetable oils such as soy and canola. These oils are not only known to be inflammatory, but are linked to cancer and heart disease. That’s why a diet high in junk food often leads to a higher risk of colorectal, stomach cancers, and cancers of the respiratory tract (mouth, nose, throat, vocal cords, windpipe, and esophagus). For women, the risk of both liver and breast cancer is also higher, and for men, the risk of lung cancer is greater. You’ll want to check out The Link Between Fast Food and Cancer.
  4. Do you serve filtered water and use filtered water when cooking? Clean, pure water is not necessarily guaranteed in many places across the U.S. Shocking, right? This is one area of concern you can’t afford to overlook. Check out the cancer connection in our article, If You Have Cancer, Clean Up Your Drinking Water NOW! And, by the way, it’s not only the drinking water you need to watch out for, it’s the water you bathe or shower in that can put you at risk.
  5. Do you use real butter and absolutely no margarine? Unfortunately, many waitstaff all across the nation do not realize the distinction between real butter and substitutes like margarine. And that’s just one of the reasons we feel it’s important to screen restaurants for you. Margarine has been found to have a shocking number of cancer-causing substances and should be avoided.
  6. Are you GMO-free? GMO foods are more likely to be contaminated with pesticides and herbicides as they are genetically modified in an attempt to be more tolerant to chemical exposure. Glyphosate is one of the deadliest chemicals to date. It not only kills weeds, but it can kill you. Any plant glyphosate is sprayed on takes the chemical into its tissues — you can’t just wash it off. Because glyphosate drifts on air currents when it’s sprayed and runs off into waterways, it is found in virtually all U.S. grown produce, but in much smaller levels in organic foods. Learn more: The Dangers of Glyphostate.
  7. Are you MSG-free? Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that originated in Japan, has been around for a long time. Unfortunately, it has been implicated in several neurological symptoms. It remains one of the most harmful food additives and hides in everything from frozen dinners to processed meats, salad dressings, broths, nut milks, etc. Learn more about Finding Hidden Ingredients on Food Labels.

The bottom line is that you have a right to know what is in your food. The Templeton List can help. This is a completely FREE interactive restaurant guide with the sole purpose of helping YOU to identify vetted healthy restaurants in your area.

Is there a restaurant you frequent that is not part of the guide? If so, please ask the seven aforementioned important questions before you dine there again. And if your favorite restaurant says YES to most of these questions, please feel free to submit this information to us. Our team will follow up and you may find YOUR favorite restaurant on our exclusive list the next time you look!

NOTE: The Templeton List is a work in progress with many more new restaurants being added every week. I encourage you to check it out, save it to your “Favorites” and come back often to see what healthy restaurants are located in your area or your next travel destination.

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