Dining Out Tips with Danielle, registered dietitian
Healthy Choices when Dining Out
Dining out can be daunting. There are so many options. How do you know which one to chose? You’d think the salad would always be a safe bet but when you factor in the dressing, cheese, croutons, wontons, etc, you’re looking at a 1000 calorie meal (if not more).
Here are tips to eat well while Dining Out:
Three popular cuisines:
- Fill up on steamed veggies, protein, and about 1/4th of your plate rice (brown is best).
- Ask for the sauce on the side.
- Eggdrop or Wonton soups make for a nice appetizer to help curb your appetite.
- Steer clear of anything fried, breaded, or coated in flour.
- Here are some safe terms: Jum (poached), Chu (broiled), Kow (roasted), Shu (barbecued).
- To really up your game, ask for your meal cooked in vegetable stock (a traditional Chinese style of cooking called “stock velveted”).
- This will reduce the calories in your dish by 150-300 and the fat by 15-30 grams.
- Avoid temptations from the beginning by asking your server to hold the bread.
- Instead, start with a salad or broth-based soup.
- Rather than cream sauces, choose marinara or olive oil and garlic.
- Italian restaurants are notorious for oversized portions.
- Ask for half orders or split with a friend.
- An even better plan is to have your meat and sauce served over veggies instead of noodles.
- Parmesan is great for flavor, but ask for it on the side so that you can control the amount.
- Avoid “Crema,” cheese, sour cream, fried options such as chimichangas, or anything “smothered.”
- Instead choose red sauce, pico or salsa verde.
- Fajitas are a great meal option because you can control how much to have of each component.
- Go easy on the sour cream and cheese.
- Fill up on the protein and veggies.
- Steer clear of chips, which are fried in oil.
- Instead start with ceviche or sliced veggies dipped in salsa or guacamole.
There’s no reason for a night dining out to sabotage your nutrition goals.
Lead by example and show your family and friends how to eat well without sacrificing your social life when dining out. ☺
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