7 Tricks to Healthy Eating When Dining Out
Just because you go out to eat at a restaurant doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to eat unhealthy foods. If we aren’t smart about our menu choices, we may be hurting ourselves in the long run. Follow these 7 tricks and you’ll feel healthier and happier when you’re done.
Start with a salad.
Start with a salad packed with vegetables and ask for the salad dressing to be served on the side or request oil and vinegar. Request that they take away any of the unhealthy salad toppings, like croutons or bacon bits.
Find some fish.
Fish is a healthy choice when you dine out. Fish like salmon and tuna are full of omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fat that will help to lower your risk of heart disease.
Avoid fatty and fried foods.
If you are concerned about foods high in fat or cholesterol avoid foods on the menu with these warning words: fried, braised, buttered, creamed, hollandaise, cheese, cream sauce, gravy, pan-fried or butter sauce.
Find those healthy items on the menu.
Your clues to a healthy dish? Look for the following keywords when dining out: baked, broiled, grilled, roasted, steamed or garden fresh. Most restaurants now offer healthier options for you to choose from.
Stay clear of sides.
The sides are often the worst part of the meal. Substitute something unhealthy for a healthy and nutritious option. Ask your server about a side salad, steamed veggies or fruit instead of French fries.
Watch those portion sizes.
The portion sizes of American foods have been increasing over the past few decades so we are eating way more than our bodies need. Ask if you can get a half size, or eat half and take the rest home for lunch tomorrow – a cost savings too!
Watch out for those sneaky fat traps.
They may sound healthy but they are full of fat and calories! Some examples are:
- Chopped salads—a chopped salad can contain 700 calories or more
- Sweet potato fries—sweet potatoes are good for you, but when deep fried and covered in salt they can contain the same number of calories as regular fries
- Dipping bread into olive oil—though olive oil is good for your heart, it should be consumed in moderation. With each piece of bread, you could be soaking up as much as one tablespoon, or about 119 calories worth, for each dip.
It’s all about smart choices—be prepared to face those temptations and stick to a healthy diet when going out to eat.
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