When eating at restaurants keep these tips in mind:
Look at descriptions on the menu
- Be aware of words that indicate high fat like crispy, fried, scampi, breaded, creamed, au gratin and gravy.
- Look for items that include boiled, charbroiled, broiled, steamed, poached, tomato sauce, marinara and in its own juice when choosing from the menu.
Restaurants these days are getting into the trend of offering healthy food items on their menus. Ask the waiters for their lighter items or vegetarian options. Also do not be afraid to request low-fat or non-fat condiments, smaller portions of food, and dressings on the side. Also to help keep you from over-eating, split the meal with a friend or put half in a box to take home.
When at Chinese restaurants choose stir-fries with steamed rice and vegetables instead of deep fried items like wontons and egg rolls. You also want to look out for ribs and the favorite sweet and sour pork both, which are high in fat. Other high fat foods to avoid include fried rice and fried chow mein noodles and lobster sauce. Good choices include chow mein, steamed rice, steamed vegetables, chop suey, Hunan tofu, wonton soup, stir fry, hot and sour soup and fortune cookies.
Think marinara sauce when eating at an Italian restaurant. Alfredo and pesto sauces are extremely high in fat. When choosing breadsticks watch out for extra butter or margarine and oil, which add extra fat and calories. Other low fat choices include chicken marsala, spinach or mushroom tortellini, pasta with red clam sauce, grilled salmon on pasta, and minestrone soup. If pizza is your favorite, try a plain cheese, vegetable or pineapple pizza. Also, go thin crust; it has less fat.
Choose burritos, soft tacos, fajitas, quesadillas and tostados made with chicken, vegetables, beans and rice. You can substitute corn tortillas for fried chips. Also opt for low fat condiments like salsa, lettuce and tomato, and non-fat sour cream instead of guacamole and regular sour cream. Other good choices include black beans or pot beans and fat free refried beans.
Enjoy your evening out! Follow these tips and you’ll know what items to choose to still eat healthy away from home.