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The Best of Ethnic Food

The Best of Ethnic Food

What to choose and what to avoid

When choosing an exotic dish, ethnic foods are the answer. Especially when you want to leave the routine and enjoy a meal that would never be prepared at home.
But there is something else that makes ethnic food tempting: it makes us feel like we’re traveling through an unknown place, since it characterizes specific countries and races.

Every Meal Has Its Flag Just like when we visit another country, not knowing what each dish has or not understanding the menu can lead us to unpleasant surprises, like trying something that’s too spicy or full of calories.
To avoid this and to enjoy a healthy meal, you should take into account a few recommendations.

Chinese Food
With or without chopsticks, Chinese fodo is one of the most popular among food courts. One of its main features is its “five-spice” condiment, which combines different flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, savory, and salty.
Although most of the dishes are prepared in a healthy way, we recommend those that are steamed and grilled, like steamed rice and dishes without MSG (monosodium glutamate, a crystalline salt used to enhance the flavor of meals).
Although tempting, it is better to avoid the typical “Chinese rolls,” as they are fried. It is also advisable to ask the waiter to bring to the table foods without seasoning, in order to minimize the amount you use.
Fans of rice and noodles may order these dishes, as long as they’re not fried, but steamed. 

Italian Food
Although Italians prefer talking about foods that are characteristic of each región, Italian restaurants usually offer pizza and pasta. These preparations usually come with a wide variety of sauces.
Tasty and tempting, pizza is one of the most caloric options. To enjoy an Italian dish free of guilt, you may order pasta with red sauce or with any other sauce that doesn’t have cream. “Piccata” is a preparation with lemon, butter, spices, and dried or chopped tomatoes, that is usually added to meats and fish.
Pasta dishes can gather up to 700 calories. To cut-down the calories, share a plate, since they’re generally abundant, and order a salad as a side dish.

Mexican Food
Going to a Mexican restaurant and not breaking your diet is a huge challenge. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. To do this, the best thing is to avoid certain dishes; for example, nachos with cheese.
Among the recommended dishes are chicken with spices, rice and black beans, soft corn tortillas, and hot sauce as a dressing.
You may also order black bean burritos instead of meat or cheese burritos. Fajitas are great to be combined with vegetables and adding a little bit of cheese.
If you’d like to order tacos, choose “soft” instead of crunchy, since the latter are fried. If you get sour cream with your dish, thank the waiter and ask him/her to take it back!

Indian Food
Characterized by the use of spices, like curry, Indian foods usually involve plenty of vegetable-based dishes with chicken, goat, lamb, or fish. However, before ordering, make sure they’re cooked without butter or cream.
To avoid overeating, it is advisable not to ask for an entrée, since they’re usually fried preparations.
It is also advisable to go long before “chapati,” “nan,” “Kulcha,” and “roti,” which are different types of Indian bread.

Source: The New National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Obesity Guidelines


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