Eating healthy in Dubai does not have to be a daunting task. Dubai’s culinary scene is rich with world-class dining, multi-cuisine restaurants, fast-delivery apps, and a great choice of foods. You can enjoy the city's thriving culinary culture while making healthy decisions that improve your overall health. You need to have an appropriate attitude and some advance planning to do so. By incorporating some healthy eating practices into your daily routine and exploring the wellness-focused activities Dubai has to offer, you will discover a healthier, happier version of you in this dynamic city.
Here are some of the best ways to eat healthy in a vibrant city like Dubai.
Embrace the local bounty
Most of the dishes in Emirati cuisine are very healthy. Traditional Emirati dishes like harees, majboos, and saloona often incorporate nutritious ingredients like whole grains and legumes. Legumes like lentils and chickpeas supply protein and complex carbs, while whole grains like barley, bulgur, and millet offer fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These whole foods help you stay full for a longer period and curb your cravings. They also contribute to a balanced diet which is essential to maintain a healthy eating habit. There are many restaurants in Dubai that serve authentic Emirati cuisine made in the traditional style.
Include more fresh produce
The fruits and vegetables available at the grocery stores and supermarkets in the region are fresh. You can also visit the fruits and vegetables market at Waterfront Market in Deira to get your hands on the freshest fruits and vegetables in Dubai. At Al Awir Fruits and Vegetables, you can stock up on weekly or monthly groceries for bargain prices. Many stores in Dubai also sell organic fruits and vegetables. Seek out organic markets and stores that offer a variety of pesticide-free fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Try to buy more seasonal produce to ensure freshness and flavor. You can include leafy greens, vibrant berries, cruciferous vegetables, and root vegetables in your meals to maximize the intake of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fruits like grapes and strawberries are great alternatives for desserts while banana is a healthy mid-day snack. Avoid canned vegetables as they are full of preservatives.
Stock up on healthy snacks
It is easier to maintain a healthier eating habits by stocking up on healthy snacks. By keeping healthy snacks at a hand distance, you can avoid buying unhealthy food products when you are hungry. The real problem is what qualifies as a healthy snack. Your favorite fruit rolls do not qualify as a healthy snack just because it has fruit in it. Choose snacks that are nutrient-dense and low in added sugars and unhealthy fats. You can opt for mixed nuts, dried fruits, whole-grain crackers, and homemade granola bars. Healthy snacks like protein bars are great mid-day snacks and help to stay full. Fresh fruits also make a great snack option. Most of the supermarkets in Dubai have a wide collection of healthy snacks. You can also carry travel-size packets of any healthy snacks while traveling to avoid unnecessary purchases.
Say no to fast foods
This will be one of the toughest choices to make if you are planning to eat healthy in Dubai. Dubai is home to many fast-food eateries that offer tempting, appealing, and yummy choices. Eating fast foods on a regular basis affects your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. You can also have long-term problems with digestion, immunity, inflammation, heart health, obesity, and other things that could result from a diet high in junk food. When opting to eat out you can go to places that serve healthy dishes and drinks.
Eat mindfully at restaurants
It is easier to eat healthy at home as there are only limited choices compared to restaurants. But eating at restaurants in Dubai cannot be avoided altogether as it is necessary to have social interactions. When eating at restaurants be mindful of what goes into your stomach. You can check for healthy meal options on the menu or ask the waiter to have a better understanding of what the restaurant has to offer. Focus on dishes that use fresh ingredients and are nutritionally balanced. Some restaurants in Dubai have detailed menus featuring ingredients and cooking methods. This makes it easier for you to decide on a healthier option. Practice portion control by sharing dishes or requesting smaller portions and be mindful of added sauces and dressings. If you have a say in choosing the restaurant opt for restaurants that serve a variety of healthy dining options. Some of the popular healthy dining restaurants in Dubai are SEVA Table, Brambles, and Harvest & Co.
Meal prepping is a very efficient practice to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle. By prepping your meal for a whole week, you are restricting your food choices. This motivates you into eating healthy for the entire week. If you do not want to cook an entire week’s menu in one go, you can also plan your meal for the week. Stock up on the groceries needed for the scheduled meal preparation. This makes your life easier in many ways like saving you the time you take to decide what to eat after a hectic work schedule.
Subscribe to a meal plan
It is a bit difficult for people with a hectic work life to cook daily. This will lead to ordering delicious food using the delivery apps. There are many brands in Dubai that offer daily meal subscriptions. They deliver fresh and healthy meals daily to your homes or your desired location. By subscribing to such a plan, you can avoid the fuss over cooking meals daily or having to resort to processed foods. These brands offer a variety of options in terms of cuisine, dietary needs, and more. You can also let them know about your health conditions to get customized meal plans. Some of the popular healthy meal plans in Dubai are Right Bite, Delicut, and iDiet.