Affordable yet healthy spots in Vegas where you can eat wholesome meals, for those on a diet or simply for the health-conscious:
This city is an eating paradise. All you can eat for affordable prices and of unsurpassed quality (the best in the world) as well as chic and world-class restaurants. If you are on a diet, they say, don’t come to Vegas. But it’s not the case, actually. The more options you have, the less likely you are going to eat unhealthy food (provided you are somewhat health-conscious). And, in Vegas, you have real options, all of them delicious!
♥ First of all, if you want to avoid food unhealthy for your heart and overall health, you already know you need to avoid anything which has partially hydrogenated (oils or fats), as well as palm or coconut oils, so cookies and many pre-packaged foods have to be avoided, unless they specifically state on the packaging that they only contain olive or canola oil (only). So, when you go to a restaurant or buffet, ask which oils they use. If you are unsure, the rule of thumb is to avoid the dish. At good buffets they usually take pride in telling you what the ingredients are, and it is your right to know.
♥ In Las Vegas, as in any other city, unless you go to a specifically healthy/natural or organic restaurant, you have a better chance to eat healthy food in most buffets, as long as you resist the tempting ‘bad’ dishes which will always be there too. As general rule always most Vegas buffets have a salad section: however, you need to make sure they have olive oil (or olive mixed with canola, if they are ‘cheap’, but it’s still fine) and you need to make sure you don’t have to use any creamy salad dressings; if in doubt, always opt for extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The Mirage buffet (Cravings) has a phenomenal salad section (made to order) and you can truly make a delicious salads, with a wide range of healthy and tasty add-ons such as artichokes and Greek olives; they use a blend of canola and olive oil for their dressings and that’s great for the heart.
♥ In fact, the Mirage made-to-order salads are the healthiest options for anybody, and definitely good to the heart. Don’t opt for cheese or any kind (bad for the heart) or mayonnaise based salad dressings, otherwise you will add bad ‘stuff’ to an otherwise good salad. Of course, ideally we should all eat organic food (organic vegetables and fruits and free-range eggs and meat), but no restaurants or buffets serve this unless they state it. It’s a trend that’s catching on, thankfully, though I doubt it’s going to affect buffets anytime soon.
♥ If you care for your heart most doctors will say that you should avoid red meat altogether and definitely avoid any meat that’s not totally lean and unprocessed (so, no burgers, sausages and definitely no hot dogs); then, this meat should only be cooked in extra virgin olive oil (or organic canola) and never fried. Fish is much healthier of course but it should never be deep fried and it should never be coated in batter. Anything cooked in unhealthy oils or margarine/butter-based sauces should also be avoided. The good news is that most decent buffets in Las Vegas will have enough choices for those looking after their heart. Always go for baked fish unless they specify that it’s cooked in olive oil (or organic canola oil – non-organic canola oil is often genetically modified) and never stop asking if you are in doubt! Even the cheapest buffets in Vegas have some options which are heart-friendly, mostly probably to help local seniors stick to the prescribed healthy diet.
♥ The Mirage buffet has a fantastic a Chinese made-to-order soup section which is delicious and has no cholesterol (or bad oils). You may have to avoid the won-tons, of course, since they often contain processed meat (they may have a vegetarian option but you need to ask, always, to be sure). The Rio buffet has a Thai soup (still made to order) section where you can put any healthy ingredient you want (I usually go for mushrooms, green onions and, sometimes, shrimps).
♥ Stay away from desserts in general (either sugar or sugar-free, unless they were made with Stevia, a natural sweetener, and without genetically modified palm and canola oils) but feel free to indulge in a little gelato (the Italian version of ‘ice-cream’). Provided it’s the real deal and not imitation Italian gelato, it’s made in a much healthier way (no bad fats) and you can enjoy this at the Mirage buffet and at the affordable M Resort buffet (Studio B). Studio B has in fact the widest range of high-quality gelato (unmissable!), which is definitely heart-friendly and overall health-friendly.
♥ The affordable Palms buffet deserves mentioning because they have a truly delicious yet healthy salad section, with healthier pre-tossed options as well as a wide range of nutritious, wholesome dressings like tabouli. They also serve good quality baked salmon, probably among the tastiest of any Vegas buffet. Finally, they also serve a good range of Thai soups which you can add to your vegetables for a delicious dish.
In summary, the better Vegas buffets will usually provide enough healthy options, whilst the less-than-good buffets will usually not (for example, not even their salad sections aren’t ideal, since you will have bland salad next to a few unhealthy salad dressings and no olive oil in sight).