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Nutrition

At LEON, we believe that food should taste good and do you good.

When we looked around for inspiration, we were drawn to the richness, flavors and natural healthiness of Mediterranean cooking. We base our food around the Mediterranean diet, meaning our menu focuses on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds and unrefined cereals. We look to replace butter with healthier fats such as olive oil, use spices and herbs instead of salt to flavor dishes and look to encourage more chicken and fish in our diets, with a little red meat thrown in for good measure. We do also understand the need to have a treat, be it a glass of red wine or something sweet, but only as a small part of our diet.

Our overall view on nutrition is well summed up by Michael Pollan in his great book In Defense of Food: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. A diet that follows these principles will be a good diet. We use whole ingredients and favor good fats and good carbs.

We work closely with nutritionists to make sure that the overall menu offers options for everyone whether you’re a hard exercising gym bunny or take a more sedentary approach to life. We are now partnering with The Gut Health Guru, Dr Megan Rossi to tell people more about gut health and gut friendly foods.

We also use Children’s Food Trust guidelines to help create a balanced and nutritious children’s menu. During the development of our meal options for kids we focused on keeping sugar, salt and saturated fat to a minimum.

All our nutritional figures on the menu pages are provided as guidelines. They are all correct to the best of our knowledge but may vary occasionally with ingredient provenance and seasonality.

We use a range of nutritional symbols on our menu to help you quickly identify the dishes we offer and let you know about any allergens the dishes may contain. You’ll notice we list the allergens on a poster next to the counter to help explain the symbols you see on the menu boards. We take food allergies very seriously and therefore use separate counters, utensils and passes for ingredients with allergens.

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VEGAN 

These dishes do not contain any animal products whatsoever. No dairy, no egg, no nothing. We have several vegan treats and are always looking to introduce new ones if you have any suggestions.

DAIRY FREE

All mammals, including man, need milk in infancy. As adults many of us lose the enzymes to digest milk and other dairy products. This can lead to poor digestion. Since the widespread use of milk by adult humans, some of us have developed the ability to retain the enzymes to break down milk, but many still have an intolerance.

 

VEGETARIAN 

These dishes are entirely meat-free. The secret to life is to be able to make vegetables taste good. Succeed in this and the world is yours. You will eat better, more cheaply, and stress out the planet a little less. 

GLUTEN FREE

At the extreme, gluten intolerance manifests itself in Celiac disease. But many people without the disease now steer clear of gluten, which is becoming more common in our food.

LOW GLYCEMIC LOAD

We denote dishes that have a low Glycemic load. The GL refers to the extent to which a food raises ones blood sugar levels as it is digested. Initially, the concept became known as the Glycemic Index (GI) which measured food on a sugariness scale relative to glucose (which was given a score of 100) – all foods with a score above 50 were seen as bad news. More recently this has been modified to the idea of the Glycemic Load, which recognizes the effect of the whole food not just how sugary the carbohydrate element of the food is. We mark any dish wish a GL of 11.

WHEAT FREE 

For a number of reasons, wheat has become a problem for many people. Modern wheat is very different from traditional ‘ancient’ grains such as millet, spelt or kamut. It has been bred to be easier to harvest and higher yielding and now contains much more gluten than these traditional grains. Among other things, wheat can leave those intolerant to it feeling sluggish with flu-like symptoms.

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