Eating healthy in Greek restaurants

Kalispera from a little island called Naxos in sunny Greece!

We are currently holidaying before we start work in Athens, where we have moved exactly a month ago – so far, we are loving it! The time slowed down, the fuel prices went up, it’s always sunny and the food is great! We also have our own flat for the first time ever after 2 years of living together and not having to share anything with anyone but each other is AMAZING! 🙂 <3

I have unfortunately had some minor health issues, which reminded me to avoid stress, enjoy my time off, exercise and live healthy. As you might’ve figured out, I am a massive salt lover. I eat chocolate a few times a year and don’t even have cake on my birthday, but give me Cheetos (which they unfortunately sell everywhere in Greece) and I have no self control. I was given a short treatment, which includes avoiding salt for 5 days and that has made my going to the restaurants a lot harder than usual. 🙂

Greece is a country known for it’s meat, wine and cheese (not to mention the fried cheese – Saganaki), which makes eating out very meat and oil heavy. As we are on holidays and we have most of our meals in restaurants, I have been struggling to eat good, nutritious and healthy meals.

How to eat healthy while eating out?

1. Drink water
Avoid soft drinks and alcohol and opt for water instead. You can’t drink tap water on Greek islands anyway, meaning this is a good opportunity to stay hydrated and not be rude at the same time.

2. Share appetizers
Instead of going for a massive meal, share a few appetizers, which still tend to be quite big at traditional Greek tavernas. Try some traditional Greek dips, such as Tzaziki, Fava dip, eggplant dip or beetroot dip. If you are a big fan of vegetables, try the garlic sauteed mushrooms with lemon, olives or grilled vegetables (usually tomato, zucchini, eggplant etc.

Keep in mind, every single island has a different version of a recipe and their own specialities, so don’t be afraid to ask the waiter for advice.

3. Ask for things to be grilled.

4. Replace fried food & don’t be afraid to ask for more veggies
Ask to replace fries with vegetables or ask for a bigger portion of vegetables on the side. These days, vegetables are often simply used as garnish, so don’t be afraid to ask for more. Always offer to pay, but mind you, it’s very unlikely they will actually charge you. 🙂

5. Order fish
Seafood can be prepared so many ways – steamed, broiled, baked, sauteed or grilled. As before, try to avoid fried fish. The good thing about Greece is the freshness of the fish. You will usually be able to choose the fish and they will weigh it out and cook it to your liking.

6. Salads
Avoid salads loaded with cheese, meats, dressing and pasta and treat yourself to a raw vegetable salad instead. This should be no problem in Greece, as it is known for it’s delicious, fresh salads.

7. Skip dessert
In Greece, you will often be offered a slice of cake or baklava on the house. As tempting as it is, you are already full (or you would’ve ordered something else ;-)), so try to politely decline or have a bowl of fresh fruit instead.

If you have any special dietary requirements, make sure to always talk to the staff. Keep in mind Greek islands are small, so demand for special requirements is not that big. These days you should still be able to find gluten free bread and snacks at even small shops (mini markets) or lactose free drinks.

If you are vegan, there still aren’t as many vegan restaurants, but you should still be able to find one even on the smaller islands. Never be afraid to speak to the staff at the restaurant, as Greeks are very polite and caring people and they will always try to help you out. Just remember to always say thank you – efharisto! 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. This has been so helpful, not just in Greece but overall! I know it might sound “normal” and silly to some to point out these things, but it’s definitely a great reminder and helped me with feeling bloated all the time! Stay cool chick!

  2. I discovered more new stuff on this weight reduction issue. Just one issue is that good nutrition is very vital when dieting. A huge reduction in bad foods, sugary food items, fried foods, sweet foods, red meat, and white colored flour products may perhaps be necessary. Keeping wastes organisms, and poisons may prevent desired goals for losing weight. While particular drugs quickly solve the situation, the bad side effects usually are not worth it, and they also never offer you more than a momentary solution. It is just a known incontrovertible fact that 95% of celebrity diets fail. Many thanks for sharing your thinking on this blog.

  3. Although I appreciate your post, I would love to see some more Greek dishes from your time there.

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