Three restaurants offering a "toushitsu-seigen" (low-carb) lunches that will satisfy you with a limited amount of carbohydrates. Our list offers a wide variety of meals from traditional Japanese shabu-shabu to Chinese cuisine, so take your pick of tasty food without worrying about your diet!
Sushi Rolls Without the Rice at Tahichian Nonicafe
Tahichian Nonicafe not only offers healthy drinks and sweets containing Noni, a special fruit used for tea and other foods popular in Tahiti and Hawaii, but also prepares meals containing low GI (glycemic index) ingredients. These ingredients are said to be effective in slowing the increases in blood sugar level and can help when trying to maintain a healthy diet.
Beautifully arranged on a plate, maki-zushi (sushi rolls) contain a roughly ground nut paste instead of rice, with vegetables wrapped inside the paste. Aside from cutting a large amount of sugar by removing rice, unroasted nuts used for the paste contain a lot of enzymes. Even for the side dishes and salads, organically cultivated ingredients are used, without additives.
They also have a healthy menu which prevents the accumulation of AGEs (advanced glycation end products), said to be one of the causes of aging, produced by the excess of sugar in the body combining to the protein. In order to prevent the accumulation of AGEs, an AGE-less menu made from specific ingredients and cooked by innovative methods was developed. Because of this, the cafe has become very popular among health-oriented Tokyoites.
- Address 3-2-2, Nishishinjuku , Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0023
A Surprisingly Healthy Menu at Chinese Restaurant Fun
At Chugoku Ryori (Chinese Restaurant) Fun you can savor your lunch in their clean, refined interior decorated by seasonal flowers. The taste of their dishes is so well-established, that the restaurant has even catered to quite a few celebrities! The low-carb menu here was originally the idea from the owner who started researching low-carb meals in order to improve his own health. Since potato starch and sugar are typically used in Chinese cuisine to give it a rich taste, making such delicious foods while keeping the amount of carbohydrates low is a challenging feat. However, the chefs at Fun are up to the task and strive to create new recipes every day.
For lunch time, we recommend the Diet Lunch set which is accompanied with the main dish of your choosing, salad, soup, bread made of wheat bran, and a dessert. Sugar is not used in any of the dishes including the dessert! The main dishes for the Diet Lunch are changed every week. One of the popular standards, Kanitama-amazu-ankake (crab meat omelet with sweet vinegar sauce) has tightly packed fillings in the fluffy egg, giving an extravagant taste. Since it is a popular store in a business district, you may have to line up during peak hours, between 11:30 and 12:00 pm.
- Address 6-7-3, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0022
Traditional Hot Pots That Are Also Low-Carb at Nabezo
One of the great things about a low-carb diet is that you can eat plenty of meat and fish while also reducing your sugar intake. So, how about trying the all-you-can-eat lunch at Nabezo, a nabe (hot pot) specialty chain? Among the several of Nabezo branches in Shinjuku district, the Shinjuku Meiji-dori branch is a perfect meeting place, located near Isetan department store. The simple and natural interior inspired by Northern European design gives Nabezo a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.
A buffet with several kinds of nabe soup and carefully selected vegetables is a clever way to reduce sugar intake. The lunch menu here includes Buta-shabu Tabe-hodai (all-you-can-eat style pork) and Ushi/Buta Tabehodai (all-you-can-eat style beef and pork), and both are limited to 90 minutes. Aside from shabu-shabu, which uses boiled water, you can choose the type of soup from soy milk with collagen and spicy-and-tasty kimchi among others. More than 20 kinds of vegetables which are chosen carefully are lined up in a buffet style, and you can freely pick them up to add in your shabu-shabu soup. (Tip: Avoid root vegetables, which are usually high in sugar content, if you want to further decrease your sugar intake.)
Although udon (Japanese wheat noodles) and Chinese noodles are available, you may want to eat only a modest amount of them if you are really on a diet. It is hard to refuse some food when a meal is served as a set for one person, however, you can choose what to eat according to how concerned you are with your sugar intake thanks to this buffet style. If you are aiming to eat a low-carb lunch, why not try one filled with meat?
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