5 Tips for Dining Out and Eating Healthily

Here's food for thought! Did you know the average restaurant meal has over 1,000 calories? That's enough to blow any healthy eating plan. Fortunately, by following a few simple guidelines, you can dine out without having to sacrifice good taste and nutrition.

1. Avoid ordering an appetizer. It's a little known fact that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course. Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It's not a healthy way to start your meal.

2. Say "yes" to salad. Salad is a healthy eater's best friend. Not only will it fill you up so you'll consume fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

3. Make the right entree selection. Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories and fat grams, you'll also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. Very few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding the starch, you'll be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream based and you'll enjoy a considerable calorie savings. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat.

4. Think about what you're drinking with your meal. By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you've saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water with lemon. You'll be glad you did when you consider the calorie savings.

5. Indulge your sweet tooth wisely. Many of the chain restaurants now offer a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option isn't available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.

6. Learn to control your portions. Many restaurants are serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you'll be less tempted to overindulge.

By following these steps, you can make your dining experiences not only healthy, but enjoyable. Your heart will thank you!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.

In The News:

Consultant HARP  ReliefWeb
Feed and nutrition (layers)  The Poultry Site
Adolescent nutrition  The Lancet
Nutrition and Oral Health  American Dental Association
Nutrients and Nutrition  VOA Learning English

Minimum Health or Maximum Health? That is the Question!

Picture yourself in one of the following scenarios.You're cruising along... Read More

The Toxic Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

The problem with sugar is that it doesn't contain any... Read More

The Fountain of Youth - Right in Front of Us All This Time!

Can we really stop the aging process, slow it down,... Read More

Our Livers Need for Water

Although many realize that the liver has its own cleansing... Read More

Good Meal Sizes and Frequency

Meal sizes and frequency are very important. Over the years... Read More

A Consumers Guide to Soy Terms

Although you may have heard about soy and all of... Read More

Explanation of Ambrotose

There are basically four major components, or essential molecular components... Read More

The Benefits of Iodine

Initially discovered as a new element in 1811 by Barnard... Read More

Boost Your Immune System

The Immune System is probably the most important system in... Read More

Facts About Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is less known compare to olive oil, corn... Read More

The New Food Pyramid: Another Attempt At Providing Easy Answers

The Food Pyramid, first introduced to the US in 1992,... Read More

Healing Power of 8 Sugars: An Amazing Breakthrough in Nutrition

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed.... Read More

Chew Your Food

I am going to share with you possibly the most... Read More

The No 1 Reason Why Most Diets Fail & What to Do About It

How many times have you tried to diet/lose weight in... Read More

Go Nuts!

Nuts of all kinds (I am talking peanuts, cashews etc)... Read More

Fluoride Debate Continues

The debate regarding Fluoride continues to rage, is it good... Read More

Face Check Up

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the healthiest of them... Read More

Antioxidants and Your Health

Get back to the basics - eat fresh at home... Read More

The Versatility of Actinase Protein Complex

The ingredients list found on the back or side panel... Read More

What?s Causing Your Energy Drain?

This is such a busy time of year, isn't it?... Read More

Fruits and Vegetables and Phytochemicals

I'm willing to bet you probably haven't heard the word... Read More

Macrobiotics: Diet and Lifestyle for Long-term Health

A frequent misunderstanding about macrobiotics is that it is a... Read More

Essential Fatty Acids -The Good Fats

Fats (triacylglycerols) ...Some basic terminology ...fat or fatty acid ...In... Read More

Snack Attack - How to Keep Your Hunger Between Meals from Getting the Best of You

The Benefits of SnackingYou may feel regretful about snacking, but... Read More

Nutrition as Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD Alternative Treatment: Help is as Close as the Kitchen

The quality of food we eat (or lack thereof) has... Read More