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If you’ve ever scoured the Nandos menu, you’ll know it’s not all Ed Sheeran and Example rapping, Peri Peri fries and extra hot half chickens.
No, there’s actually a carnival of chicken, beanie burgers and sweet potato options to choose from. It can be peri hard to navigate, especially if you’re trying to lose fat by making nutritious choices. So question then: is it better to skip the bun for the pitta, or the flame-grill altogether for a supergreen salad?
We’ve got the answer.
If you’re heading for a cheeky Nandos this weekend keep reading for what a nutritionist would order from the Nandos menu, and more importantly, why. All nutrition fads aside, let Jenna Hope (@JennaHopeNutrition), an Association For Nutrition registered nutritionist (MSc), guide you through the Nandos menu the healthy way.
Keep reading to stack your plate with the menu choices of one of the UK’s leading health experts.
WHAT A NUTRITIONIST WOULD ORDER
Nandos Menu Starter:
Hummus with Peri Peri Drizzle
800 calories – 31.9g fat – 97.9g carbohydrates – 23.3g protein – 9.4g fibre – 3.6g salt
“Upon first glance at the Nandos menu, I’d opt for hummus.
“It’s main ingredient is chickpeas, a source of complex carbohydrates and protein. Chickpeas also have a low glycemic index, which research published in Nutrients has found can help improve insulin and blood glucose control and will keep you fuller for longer, too. A third of the serving can provide you with 10% of your daily fibre requirement, and fibre also contributes to a healthy gut function which can influence weight maintenance, mental health, mood and even sleep.
“Hummus is also high in healthy fats from the tahini and olive oil required for brain function. The tahini is a source of plant-based iron and which also makes it a go-to for vegans and veggies.
“However, the serving is fairly large and contains around 800 calories. A nice trick is to share with those I’m dining with, and ask for veggie sticks such as carrots and cucumber instead of the pitta as another way to pack in your 5-a-day.”
Nandos Menu Main:
453 calories – 26.5g fat – 37.7g carbohydrates – 16.6g protein – 12.8g fibre – 1.7g salt
“Opt for the quinoa salad as it’s jam-packed with vegetables to contribute towards your 5-a-day. The quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids which are required to generate and repair muscles, tissues and cells, so it’s great for pre-or post- workout.
“Be mindful when ordering salads that the sauces are quite high in sugar and salt, so you may want to ask for them on the side. If you’re vegan, ask for the salad minus the feta and you’ve got a meal offering a full amino acid, which is often something vegans find hard.
“If you’re particularly hungry, add a source of lean protein, such as a chicken breast. The chicken is rich in vitamin B3, which is essential for metabolism, and B6, which converts tryptophan, an amino acid found in chicken, into serotonin, often referred to as the happy hormone. Although hacks like these aren’t always stated on the Nandos menu or other menus, don’t be afraid to ask for menu variations. Staff will be happy to help.
“I love the addition of the avocado as it’s high in monounsaturated fatty acids which contribute to healthy skin and to the absorption of vitamins A and E found in the sweet potato.”
Nandos Menu Dessert:
Vanilla Frozen Yoghurt or Chamomile Citrus tea
71 calories – 0.1g fat – 15g carbohydrates – 2.6g protein – 13g fibre – 2.6g salt
“For dessert, try opting for the frozen yoghurt for a relatively light option. Although it is high in sugar at 13g a serving—the NHS guidelines recommend a healthy adult to limit sugar to 30g a day. Try not to be tempted by the offer of refillable dessert. The sugar and health problems that come with it can add up quickly.
“Alternatively, opt for a sweet tea from the Nandos menu after dinner to curb sweet cravings. At Nandos, I’d get a chamomile citrus. Research in Molecular Medicine Reports found that chamomile can also aid digestion and contribute to improved sleep.”
Nandos menu drink:
Water with fresh lime
“Drinks are often loaded with sugar which can stimulate your appetite hormones and cause you to over-consume. Opt for an option off the Nandos menu, like water with fresh lime, and you save yourself consuming empty sugar calories. Think about it this way: would you rather eat your calories or drink them?”
Wondering about the food cravings meaning or healthy dinner options? Read our handy guides.