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Dining Out

Por Claudia M. González, MS, RD, LD/N* -

Everyone enjoys dinner at a nice restaurant. You don’t have to cook or clean, and you get to enjoy good food and fellowship. Nice restaurants often prepare delectable, superb-tasting dishes. Have you ever wondered if the meals are healthy?

Restaurant food often comes packed with a lot calories and little fiber. If you rarely dine out, this article may not concern you, but if you eat out regularly, find out how this lifestyle habit can affect your health and weight.

Because of the growing interest in having healthy and nutritious food options while eating out, many restaurant owners have modified their methods of food preparation. Some restaurants offer dishes with less calories and little fat. Some establishments even offer a special dish every day specifically for their health-conscious customers. If you eat out several times a week, carefully read the menu and choose the most nutritious dishes.

A healthy choice

Choosing a healthy option shouldn’t put a damper on eating out. You don’t need to leave your favorite food aside or follow a “salads-only” diet. Follow the advice below for an enjoyable and healthy meal.

  • Foods rich in fat can jeopardize a healthy diet.
  • Avoid eating appetizers that are higher in fat, such as fried calamari, buffalo wings, and mozzarella sticks. They add extra calories to your meal and inches to your waistline.
  • Remember that beverages, aside from water, typically have a high-calorie count.
  • Choose a steamed or grilled entrée, low in fat or calories.
  • Avoid cream sauces.
  • Avoid eating unnecessary fat. Remove the skin from chicken. Don’t choose cuts of meat that have a lot of fat. Ask for baked or steamed vegetables (not fried) without sauce. Eat baked potatoes. They have low calorie content and a healthy amount of fiber.
  • If you eat a high-fat dish, reduce your fat intake during the rest of the week to balance your diet.
  • When you ask for the check, say “no” to dessert and coffee with sugar. If you must have dessert, then share it. You’ll save both money and calories!



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