Ways to Eat Healthy When You Dining out

Sharing for a healthy society.

Don’t Eat It All: Restaurants serve huge portions. If you’re counting calories — or monitoring blood glucose – don’t eat it all yourself. Try this instead:

Restrain yourself, and take a box home.

Share with others at your table.

Ask your server to box up half before bringing the meal out.

Lean Choices

If you’re counting calories and saturated fat, hamburgers, rib eye, porterhouse, or T-bone steaks don’t score well.

Thumbs Up:

Barbeque or grilled chicken, lean pot roast, lean meatloaf

London broil, filet mignon, flank steak, sirloin tip, tenderloin

Seafood, boiled shrimp, oysters on the half shell

Spicing Up Your Diet

Crave Cajun food? It can be packed with saturated fat and salt. Here’s how to order healthy:

Thumbs Down: Hushpuppies, fried seafood, gumbos, etouffee sauces, blackened fish, and dirty rice.

Thumbs Up: Heart-healthy creoles and jambalayas, boiled crawfish or shrimp, and white rice.

Healthy Chinese Food

Thumbs Down: Egg rolls, egg drop soup, fried wontons, Lo Mein, Moo Shu, General Tso’s Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, and fried rice. They are prepared with lots of oil, sodium, and MSG.

Thumbs Up: Steamed or stir-fried seafood, chicken, bean curd, or vegetable dishes — plus steamed rice — for heart health. If possible, ask the cook to use less oil, soy sauce, and MSG.

Greek Food to Savor

Thumbs Down: Moussaka, gyros, and baklava. If you’re counting calories and saturated fat, get real about high-fat meats (like lamb and beef), cheese, and butter in these dishes.

Thumbs Up: Appetizers with chickpeas, eggplant, tomatoes, grains — like hummus, baba ganouj, tabouli, dolmas. Also, shish kabob, chicken with pita, fish cooked in tomatoes.

Healthy Choices for Indian Food

Thumbs Down: Samosas and creamy curries. Many Indian dishes are full of high-fat ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil and milk. When you’re eating out on a diet, read the menu closely.

Thumbs Up: Tandoori meats, vegetable or dal curries, and shish kabobs. South Indian food offers spicy vegetarian dishes — with cauliflower, peas, tomatoes, eggplant, lentils, rice, and chutney.

Mexican Food Fiesta

At Mexican eateries, dining out is a party. But beware of the lard and cheese.

Thumbs Down: Chips, fried tacos, refried beans, quesadillas, and chimichangas. They’re loaded with saturated fat and sodium.

Thumbs Up: Start with a black bean soup or grilled shrimp. Share chicken or shrimp fajitas. Try grilled shrimp or fish, with fresh salsa; chili Verde (pork); or arroz con pollo (chicken).

Healthy Italian Food

Pasta is the essence of Italian dining. But it can be a saturated fat-and-calorie disaster!

Thumbs Down: Creamy, cheesy sauces (like Alfredo). Fried calamari, pasta stuffed with cheese.

Thumbs Up: Light sauces, like primavera (vegetables); marsala (wine, mushrooms, beef stock); marinara (tomatoes, onions, garlic); or clam sauce. Have minestrone for starters, plus a heart-healthy glass of red wine.

How Pizza Can Be on Your Diet

Follow these healthy eating tips:

Order a thin crust.

Pile on vegetable toppings, and skip the meat.

Ask for extra sauce — and half the cheese.

Start with a salad.

Stop after one or two slices, and take the rest home.

Watch for Hidden Fat

Thai food offers heart-healthy sauces and fresh vegetables. But saturated fat hides in foods fried in lard and coconut oil.

Thumbs Down: Fried spring rolls, coconut chicken soup (tom ka gai), duck.

Thumbs Up: Steamed spring rolls, hot-and-sour soup, pad thai (stir-fried noodles), vegetable stir-fries, sticky rice.

Healthy Fast Food

Thumbs Up: Grilled chicken, chicken fajita pitas, turkey sandwiches, baked chips, or frozen yogurt.

Thumbs Down: Jumbo burgers, fried fish sandwiches, fried chicken, tacos, French fries, potato chips, milkshakes, cheese, mayonnaise, bacon 🙂 🙂

Sharing for a healthy society.

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