Catering to baby boomers, restaurants may find a new consumer base
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Since some blue city mayors have taken it upon themselves to require vaccine passports for indoor dining, perhaps it is time we discuss real health issues related to dining out. Health issues relative to public dining involve the demographics of diners, their menu desires, and their health beyond an overhyped pandemic—specifically for baby boomers.
When Melania Trump became our First Lady and was looking for a cause, I wrote her begging her to come out against all the sodium and high fructose corn syrup in our foods. Excessive salt and sugar intake are killing many Americans without realizing their lives are in peril. What was good for them 40 years ago or more is now a detriment to their health.
As the baby boomers move into retirement and look to spend some time of their golden years dining out, it is essential for restaurant owners and their cooks to better adapt to their needs.
They have more dollars to spend on entertainment, including dining out of the home.
Some examples include;
Smaller portions and no extra plate charges for couples who share an entree.
When I was young, I could eat a 12-inch sub sandwich. Now a 6 inch is plenty. The same goes for steaks, the 12-ounce steak I used to quickly down has become a 6-ounce portion. I used to readily down 5 or 6 beers in an evening outing, and now I am down to 2 or 3.
Less salt and sugar are added in the kitchen.
Because my doctor has concerns about my blood pressure and being pre-diabetic, I need to be in control and aware of the amount of salt and sugar entering my body. Like most Americans, I love McDonald’s French fries. Still, the amount of salt those kids apply to them makes you feel like you could spill your fries on the sidewalk to melt the ice. It would be more cost-effective for McDonald’s to not salt their fries at all and hand out small packets of salt and pepper with each order at the drive-up windows or have in a dish at the serving counter inside. I now use more pepper and almost no salt on my potato sides as an older adult.
Serve healthier bread that does not have high levels of starch or High Fructose Corn Syrup, which will turn to sugars.
One of the first things a doctor will warn you about when they tell you that you are “pre-diabetic” is limiting your bread intake. For many of us, that becomes torture. I first thought of my beloved bacon-cheeseburger on a pretzel roll bun.
If you have diabetes, you probably already know which bread is safer for you than others. For example, you can eat whole-grain bread, such as quality whole wheat or rye. On the other hand, sourdough bread is better, as is pumpernickel.
Old favorites I avoid are bread with processed white flour and sugar — such as white bread, rolls/donuts, English muffins, and bagels.
It is to be noted that writers can get into trouble painting with words in broad generalizations, making some people mad, so I will say English muffins are estimated to be about 70 on the glycemic index (GI). However, if you get a whole-grain variety, those muffins weigh with a GI of about much better than 45.
Offer healthier menu options that include greens.
When I got my last dressing down by my doctor, I was encouraged to eat more greens, specifically salads. One of our local dining establishments had an Oriental steak salad I rapidly fell in love with. The only thing I had to do was to remember to warn them to go lightly on the Soy sauce and Chow Mein noodles.
That gave way to an Oriental chicken salad which is also very good and less costly.
Offer more alternative menu options to red meat.
While I care less about cow farts relative to climate change, I am not a picky eater. Being a Midwesterner, I love my beef but, again, listening to my doctor, I have learned to eat more chicken, fish, and pork.
Another critical thing to mention is that we (the wife and I) prefer to eat broiled fish over fried fish. It is not always easy to find, but dining establishments are better about offering this option.
Whole, no sugar added, juices should be on the menu
Did you know that drinking tomato juice can lower prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) for a man? High levels of PSA can lead to prostate cancer as men age. Pineapple juice helps remedy flashers and floaters in the eyes.
For those with gouty arthritis (which can be brought on by craft beer), sour cherry juice often achieves comfort. Likewise, drinking lots of water and a little lime or lemon juice can lower your odds for those who suffer from kidney stones. However, not everybody’s stones are the same as our bodies are all different, so there are no guarantees for what may work for one but not another.
Of course, everybody knows to drink cranberry juice to help stave off urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Education is key
Some dining establishments are now posting calorie intake by each menu item as they are able. This is an excellent idea.
Without getting too wordy, cooks and dieticians could offer one or two sentences explaining why a particular entrée on a menu will benefit a diner’s health. Many people, both young and old, would appreciate this information.
Old age is about adjusting and adapting.
Because our metabolism changes so radically as we age, we must learn to adjust our diet and ways of food consumption. Also, some of our diets can be used as management for prevention.
Some interesting quotes came out from scientific studies and opinions about five years ago. All the quotes were relative to sitting around watching television and/or video gaming these days as the new public health threat cigarette smoking was 50 years ago.
Those same studies pointed at sitting at a desk rather than being mobile at work. They went so far as to suggest standup desks where you work in a standing position.
Besides a good diet, exercise must be coupled with that for better health in all of us.
I am not a doctor, and nothing in this article replaces consultation with your doctor. Those prone to avoid going to the doctor altogether may find some beneficial advice here that has worked for me. Your body may be different (God as assured it is), so I make no warranties expressed or implied and do not guarantee the fitness of my words for any particular purpose. Speak to your doctor before you make dietary changes.
About the author:
Mark Schwendau is a conservative Christian patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development). He prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “bringing little known facts to people who want to know the truth.”
Mark appears “on alternative free speech social media platforms after lifetime bans from Facebook and Twitter and shadow bans from Instagram and Fox News commenting.
His website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech
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