Eat well while eating out

It is confusing to figure out what are the healthiest choices on the restaurant menu. Learn how to figure out which menu items are tasty and healthy!

It’s confusing to eat out. It’s hard to know what to choose, especially when you are trying to eat healthy. Eating out at restaurants can be a diet buster with the hidden fats and salt rich foods often served. While reading the menu, it can be challenging to figure out which items are the healthier food choices. Learn how to crack the code by identifying key words that can shed some light on which choice you should make.

Start by looking at how the food is prepared. The restaurant may use some key words like breaded, fried and cream, which indicate higher calorie choices. If you are looking for foods with less fat, choose foods that are prepared like this:

  • Baked
  • Poached
  • Steamed
  • Roasted
  • Boiled

Most restaurants are very accommodating to prepare your food to your specific requests. Look at the menu item and see how you can make it healthier. Ask the chef to serve the sauce for your fish on the side rather than have the filet swimming in it. You can then use the sauce more sparingly which will cut calories. Vegetables are naturally a fat-free and low-salt food. Ask for your veggies to be prepared without butter or salt. Then at the table you can chose the amount of spice you personally want.

Looking to cook once and eat twice? Michigan State University Extension recommends asking the server to pack half of your dinner in a take home box and eating it for another meal, as another way to eat healthier. Another option is to share an entrée between two people. Most restaurant portions are much larger than recommendations. This portion distortion is one common challenge which contributes to overeating. Over the past 20 years, an average muffin has grown from 1.4 ounces to four ounces, reflecting an increase of 290 calories. Slicing the portion size at the restaurant can help you cut calories and eat healthier.

Don’t ruin your healthy eating goals while eating out. By trimming your portion sizes and controlling how your food is prepared, you can still eat healthy while at a restaurant.

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