Every now and then, we have a Damascus moment where realize we have been consuming unhealthy food. We need more whole meal, vitamins, less sodium, fewer fats and oils and a better diet. At this time, restaurants in Nairobi are not the most conducive places to grab a treat. The food options are limited on the menus. People on meal plans are advised not to eat out. Meal preparations at home becomes the order of the day.
However, restaurants need to cater to the rising demographic of people who wish to lead healthy lifestyles. Kenyan restaurants however are moving at a staggering pace. So, ‘What Makes Junk Food Sell in Nairobi?’
In a thesis by Philip Gitonga Njagi in 2017 of the University of Nairobi, the study investigates consumer buying behaviour and consumer patterns of junk food in Fast Food Restaurants in Nairobi City County. The study highlighted the increase in consumption because of all the things we learn in Social Studies; rural-urban migration, increase in purchasing power, increase in the middle-class families. The conclusion was junk food is preferred because of convenience and to a great extent influenced by friends and social groups. (Available here)
Junk food is definitely not going anywhere. It is convenient and available. Having friends who order out more will have you eating junk and Nairobians love a good social crowd. It doesn’t help that junk tastes amazing whether sweet, fatty or salty and it is easy to have it as a modern working individual who has no time to cook.
Where then do we get healthy food in Nairobi?
First, to stay healthy you have to start eating where people over 50 eat. However, I recommend before you send a shock wave through your system by trying Bridges Restaurant, which is 100% organic. First, try some swaps from your favourite restaurants.
Tip One: Swap sodas, and processed juices with fresh juice
Restaurants are increasingly serving fresh juices. These have fewer sugars and more benefits compared to the latter. They may be more expensive compared to the 500ml soda but think about how great this is for your body. More on Instagram below.
Tip Two: Try fresh food from Supermarket Cafeterias
You may not get the healthiest salad at your local KFC but with supermarkets available all through Nairobi you have a huge diversity with healthier options. Add this to the fact that the food is prepared every morning and is fresh. Watch below for my Carrefour experience.
Tip Three: Substitute your starches with a salad
Usually restaurant menus have processed starches as the main option. What you may not know is you can substitute this with a garden salad. Before making a reservation, ask if this is an option available and pick out what is healthy and good for you. Usually a swap like this doesn’t attract an additional cost.
Tip Four: Go for a fruit salad
There’s a lot of benefits that come with having fresh fruits. These are made exciting with adding an accompaniment of nuts and yorghurt to spruce it up. It is very filling and even more affordable than most food items.
Once you’ve given this a run there’s definitely a number of restaurants that a custom made for a healthier lifestyle that we will explore in the future. For now here’s my experience from Bridges Restaurant.
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