Tips For Eating Out
Many patients have found themselves very capable of eating properly at home but quickly fall into old habits when it's time to eat out. During the past 10 years or so, however, restaurants have become more aware that many of their patrons are on restricted diets. There is absolutely no reason to feel uncomfortable about ordering a baked potato and a salad in a fine restaurant. In fact, you can and should, make special requests for foods that are more appropriate to your needs. Keep the following tips in mind when you order a meal:
- Entrees covered with sauces, as well as creamy dressing, thick soups and casseroles should be avoided because they are usually rich in fat.
- Order a low-fat appetizer and a salad. Specify that it come with your partners entree.
- Avoid fried foods. Choose baked, broiled, boiled, roasted, steamed and grilled.
- Club soda, herbal tea, and decaffeinated coffee are good choices of beverages at a meal, as is a glass of ice water with a wedge of lemon or lime.
- Sourdough, whole-wheat, rye and French breads are lower in saturated fats than biscuits, white bread, and dinner roles.
- Salads are available almost everywhere. Order salads with reduced-calorie salad dressing. Choosing your meal from the salad bar is a good source of good foods (omitting the occasional fat-laden salads and salad dressings that are sometimes there!).
- Ask to have sauces and gravies omitted, or "on the side".
- Look for items labeled "heart-healthy" on the menu
- Dont be afraid to ask how a dish is prepared.
- Substitute low-fat choices (steamed vegetables for creamed sauces, baked potatoes for french fries, etc.).
- Avoid items described with terms like battered, creamed, au gratin, scalloped, breaded. Good terms include au jus, poached, steamed, baked, etc.
- Pizza: choose thin-crust, avoid meat toppings and get small amounts of cheese (if you pat the top of a pizza with a napkin, this will soak up a lot of extra fat).
- Pastas: good choices if accompanied by red marinara sauce or simple vegetables. Avoid cream or meat sauces.
- Sandwiches: choose lean and not processed meat, get extra lettuce and tomato, and hold the mayo.
- Dessert: Order the fresh fruit. If you HAVE to have that chocolate decadence (or whatever your hot button is), split it with a companion, and make sure you cut down somewhere else. Okay, Im feeling sorry for you, sometimes you simply cannot resist temptation . . . eat the whole thing, but feel very guilty (and make sure you cut down somewhere else).
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