Going out to eat can be a real treat. Whether you’re too tired to cook for yourself at the end of the day or you’re making time to catch up with friends and family, eating out is good for you. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone, especially if you are lactose-free. 

Those with allergies and intolerances can find it hard to eat out and may need to do some preparation in advance before visiting a restaurant. If you’re lactose-free, here are some tips that can help you enjoy your eat-out experience just like everyone else.

Do Your Research

Yes, you’re going to have to be the person who researches the menu before arriving at the restaurant. If you’ve booked a restaurant in advance, it can help to peruse the menu so you know what your options are. Most restaurants have a variety of options for diners with different dietary requirements so you should be able to find something suitable.

If there’s nothing on the menu that suits your needs, don’t panic. Call the restaurant in as much advance as you can and explain your dietary requirements. Many restaurants can make swaps like lactose free cheese instead of traditional cheese in plenty of time.

Avoid Appetizers

It can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon and order appetizers with friends while eating out. For instance, if you’re on a first date and the other person suggests appetizers, you may not want to refuse. The problem is, most appetizers are covered in cheese or sauces because they’re popular with most diners. 

The last thing you want to do is go with the crowd and find you can’t eat any of the food when it arrives. Stick to ordering your own individual dishes so you know exactly what you’re getting. If you do want to order an appetizer, anything with shishito peppers in it is often a safe bet.

Modify If You Need To

Restaurants are used to making quick modifications to dishes so don’t be bashful about asking to make changes. Whether it’s a salad without dressing or a burger without cheese sauce, no restaurant is going to refuse a specific request if they want a diner to return. Not everyone likes to make it known publicly but informing the restaurant of your dietary requirements could ensure you aren’t accidentally given anything that could cause you harm.

Keep Your Guard Up

Unfortunately, having any kind of special dietary requirement means you may not be able to relax completely while eating out. When you cook meals at home, you have total control of the ingredients in your food. When you eat out, there may be hidden ingredients you aren’t aware of in many of the dishes.

Always ask your server if you’re unsure about a dish. If your meal arrives with a sauce or accompaniment that could possibly include dairy, ask before eating or avoid it while eating the rest of your meal.

Eating out may not be as easy for you as it is for everyone else but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, take a look at the others.

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