Eating Out Healthily

Written by michelle guzman
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 00:00
If you are living in America, you know that eating at home around the family table is a rare treat nowadays. Dining out used to be a once a week, or even a once-monthly occasion. With life in the fast lane, most young women, on average, are consuming at least one meal out of the home a day. Just because eating out is a must, it does not mean that you have to toss healthy choices out like leftover salad. Societe Magazine has gathered some healthy tips for you when you are dining out.

Since America is considered the "Fast Food Nation," we will start at the most common places for dining out.

If you are not already aware, one order of the so-called value meals, can pack on enough calories, sodium, and fat content to meet the whole day's nutritional limit. Whether you choose burgers, fish, chicken, mexican, or any other quick order, Americana joint, you can find low calorie, low carb, high protein, etc. choices.

Most fast food restaurants offer nutritional pamphlets that will give you a chart of calories, fat, sodium, etc. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can choose items that will leave you satisfied and still healthy. Below are some popular fast food items that you should choose and some that you should avoid.

Healthy Choices
  • Plain hamburger without mayo or cheese
  • Salad with grilled chicken and fat-free dressing
  • Veggie burger without mayo
  • Grilled chicken sandwich
  • Skinless chicken breast without breading
  • Grilled chicken soft taco
  • Black beans
  • Shrimp ensalada
  • Grilled "fresco" style steak burrito
  • Veggie and bean burrito
  • Limiting sour cream, guacamole, or cheese
  • Deli sandwiches without cheese, mayo, fatty meats
  • Baked potato without butter
  • Grilled chicken strips
  • Cutting out all cheese, mayo, special sauces, etc.

Unhealthy choices
  • Double-patty hamburger with cheese, mayo, special sauce, and bacon
  • Milkshakes
  • Chicken tenders or Chicken Nuggets
  • Fried chicken, original or extra-crispy.
  • Salad toppings such as cheese, croutons, bacon, dressings
  • French fries
  • Teriyaki wings or popcorn chicken
  • Caesar salad
  • Crispy shell chicken tacos
  • Refried beans
  • Chalupas
  • Crunch wraps or gorditas
  • Sour cream, guacamole, cheese

Chinese food is an all-time favorite take-out or eating-out food. The Asians eat very healthy with a vast array of vegetables and smaller servings than American portions. For some reason, when you eat chinese food, you always feel hungry ten minutes later. I will not pretend to know why, other than it is a great excuse to eat more of it. If you eat with chopsticks, you tend to eat slower. This will allow your tummy to tell your brain you are full.

You can also ask the cook to use less oil, low sodium soy sauce, and less meat. Below are some additional choices for Asian food.

Healthy choices
  • Stir-fried, roasted, broiled, steamed main entrees
  • Steamed tofu
  • Steamed brown rice
  • Stir-fried vegetables

Unhealthy Choices
  • Egg rolls
  • Korean-style ribs
  • Any entree that is deep-fried, battered
  • Coconut milk
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Regular soy sauce
  • Fried rice
  • Fried or crunchy noodles

For more dining choices, follow these simple hints and you will still be able to eat out healthily:

Ask your waiter to advise you of healthy choices on the menu
  • Order water with a slice of lemon instead of soda or alcohol
  • Share a plate with your dining companion
  • Take half of your order home and eat it the next day
  • Order off of the appetizer menu instead of the main entrees
  • Ask your waiter to inform the cook to cut calories, fat and sodium wherever possible
  • Have your salad dressing on the side
  • Tell your waiter to remove breads, chips, pretzels
  • Eat the anti-pasto plate without the dressing and olives
  • Have fresh fruit for dessert
  • Stop eating when you are comfortable, don't over stuff yourself

If you follow Societe Magazine's guidelines for dining out healthily, you should be able to eat out every day without compromising your health.
Last Updated ( Friday, 03 October 2008 06:42 )

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