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How to Eat Healthy at Your Favorite Restaurants

80408075-dining-out-guide-couple-ordering-menu-190x155No matter what your favorite restaurant is serving, you can still practice healthy dining.
Sports Nutritionist, Katherine Patton, MEd, RD, LD, CSSD, says, “Regardless of the restaurant, it’s important to watch your portions and look for balance in your meals.”
Here are some of her tips for ordering at specific types of restaurants:
Italian restaurants
Choose pasta with red sauce Avoid sausage in sauces Skip high-calorie dishes loaded with creamy sauces or extra cheese, such as alfredo, lasagna and carbonara Limit buttered garlic bread Mexican restaurants
Don’t fill up on chips and salsa before the meal Choose fajitas or other grilled items Avoid cheesy or deep-fried entrees Limit sour cream and guacamole. Guacamole is a source of healthy monounsaturated fat, but too much still means too many calories.
Asian eateries
Avoid egg rolls, wontons and other deep-fried items Ask to have your meal cooked in broth or stock, and not oil Limit sweet and sour items, and egg drop soups Choose brown or steamed rice over fried rice.
Try leaner cuts like sirloin, filet, flank or London broil Take a 6-ounce portion over a 16-ouncer With potatoes, order sour cream and butter on the side or choose a sweet potato Eat just one piece of bread before the meal.
Choose thin crust over deep-dish pizza Choose veggie toppings Request half the cheese Try leaner meat toppings like chicken, ham or Canadian bacon Put meat on only half the pizza.
Fast food places
Choose grilled chicken or broiled burgers Limit cheese and bacon Avoid fries Don’t super-size portions Choose salads with grilled chicken and go easy on the dressing Avoid salads with a lot of mayo (tuna salad) or lots of calories (pasta salad).
All-you-can-eat buffets
Of course, you should avoid all-you-can-eat buffets, where it’s all too tempting to go back for another slab of ham or more scalloped potatoes.
But if you find yourself there, you can use what Patton calls “the plate method”:
Use half your plate for vegetables. Fill a quarter of your plate with lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, fish, beef or pork tenderloin, or legumes. Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grain starch or complex carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta or tortilla, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and baked, red skin or sweet potato. Final tip: Restaurants know customer service is important. Don’t hesitate to ask for meals prepared the way you want them
-Bone, Joint, and Muscle Team, ClevelandClinic.org

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