Picking Healthier Options when Eating Out

Posted on Sep 05, 2014

Healthy Choices Eating OutPreparing and cooking your own meals at home is almost always healthier than eating out at restaurants or fast food establishments. However, we know that there are some times when making your own meal simply isn’t an option. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to settle for unhealthy food, however. There are ways to choose healthier options when eating out.

Here are a few tips.

Plan Ahead

If you know that you’re going to be eating out, take the time to consider what options are available to you before you’re hungry and looking for a place to eat. It’s a good idea to look at restaurant menus online, especially if they contain nutritional information and lists of ingredients. This will allow you to make an informed choice when you place your order.

Beware of Portions

Restaurants and fast food places usually offer much larger portions than what you would eat at home. If possible, order the smallest size available, split your meal with a friend or eat half and take the leftovers home with you. Any of these choices will give you a more reasonable portion for a single meal.

Pay Attention to Sides, Sauces and Condiments

Whenever possible, choose a salad or a serving as vegetables as your side rather than French fries. Ask for your salad dressing on the side so that you can add only a small amount. Avoid mayonnaise and other high-calorie options whenever you can. All of these tips will result in a healthier meal.

Reduce Salt

If you can, ask for your meal to be cooked without salt or with less salt. Most restaurant and fast food meals contain far more salt than you need.

Drink Water

Rather than having a soda pop, choose plain water instead. This will allow you to reduce the amount of sugar and calories that you consume.

Ask Questions

Ask the waiter about any ingredients and preparation methods that you are unsure of. This is especially important if you have a food intolerance or food allergy. In fact, if you have a food intolerance or a food allergy, let the waiter know before you place your order so that he or she will advise you if any of the foods on the menu contain items that you are unable to eat. 

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