Healthy Eating and Dining Out – Is It Possible?
Families eating out is becoming more and more popular today, but sometimes this may bother us because we feel like our loved ones are not eating healthy.
And, one of the biggest challenges facing those trying to follow a healthy diet is the local restaurant.
Healthy eating and dining out presents special challenges, such as not knowing how the food was prepared, how much fat it contains, and whether or not the healthiest ingredients were used.
Many restaurant chains, and even some fast food restaurants, have recognized the demand for healthier menu choices and they are working hard to satisfy that demand.
All too often, however, the healthy choices on a restaurant menu are limited and unappealing to some family members. It is important, therefore to pay close attention to the menu and make the healthiest choices possible.
Food Preparation – Better To Ask Than To Be Sorry!
One of the most important thing diners can do to eat healthy at restaurants is to be proactive. Diners should not be afraid to ask how a dish is prepared, or what ingredients are used in its preparation. If the server does not know, ask him or her to check with the chef.
A good chef will be happy to answer such questions, and to make modifications in the recipe if needed. In addition, most restaurants will happily accommodate special needs, such as low fat or low sodium dishes. After all, the restaurant is there to serve its patrons.
If you are concerned about healthy eating and dining out, take a few minutes to read the tips below to learn how it is possible.
See Just How Easy It is to Eat Healthy & Dine Out!
#1. Main Course Menu List
Order grilled, baked or broiled entrees. Deep fried dishes are best avoided. Remember, if you are unsure how a dish is prepared, don’t be afraid to ask.
#2. Food Portions
Portion size is just as important at the restaurant as they are at home. That means ordering the petite fillet instead of the full size steak, requesting half size portions of French fries, and maybe even forgoing that tempting dessert. Choosing leaner cuts of meat or fish is also a good way to eat healthier.
#3. Side Dishes
Avoid side dishes that are fried, au gratin, or prepared in cream or butter sauces instead, ask if steamed vegetables are available. Steamed veggies are an excellent, low fat, low calorie choice for many diners.
#4. Healthy Salad Dressing
Ask for fat free salad dressing when ordering salad. Most restaurants have several fat free or low fat varieties of salad dressing available. If no low fat option exists, request the dressing on the side so that you can control the amount that is used.
#5. Recommended Soups
When ordering soup, choose broth based soups, and stay away from rich soups like cream of crab or cream of broccoli. A simple vegetable soup is a delicious and low fat alternative.
#6. Seriously… No Fries
Replace high fat, high calorie French fries with healthier alternatives such as fresh fruit or a baked potato without butter. Most restaurants will be happy to accommodate such special requests.
#7. Eating Italian
In Italian restaurants, stick with the tomato based sauces and avoid cream or heavy Alfredo sauces. A simple pesto sauce without meat is a good choice for most pasta dishes.
#8. Oriental Restaurants
When dining at oriental restaurants, go with the steamed rice and stir fried vegetable entrees. Avoid the heavy sauces and request that your meal be prepared with less oil. In addition, try to choose dishes that feature less meat and more fresh vegetables.
#9.Take It Easy on Desserts
Choose a light dessert of fresh fruit or sorbet. When ordering traditional desserts, order one and share it with your dining partner.
#10. Get Rid of Super Sizing, Once and for All
Finally, when dining at a fast food restaurant, it is important to avoid the temptation of super sizing the meal. Fast food restaurants often make their larger portions more attractive by pricing them competitively, but a big part of healthier eating is to control portion sizes.
#11. Finally, Healthy Alternatives At Your Fingertips
In addition, most fast food chains now offer healthier alternatives, such as salads and baked potatoes, as well as restaurants with prominently displayed nutritional information.
While dining out certainly presents challenges to those trying to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, there is no reason to forgo the pleasure of an occasional meal out.
Now, I Know What You Must Be Thinking…
By following the guidelines listed above, and by adding some creative cooking tips of your own, you can make dining out a healthy experience as well as a pleasant one for your loved ones. So, you see it is possible. Enjoy!
And, when the time comes when you want to cook a healthy meal for your loved ones instead of eating out, check out my 35 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes for some easy & healthy meal ideas.
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In conclusion, I hope you found these crock pot healthy recipes ideas to be just what you were searching for!
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Thanks for stopping by – Jean
Filed under: Cooking Tips