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Eating Out: Tips for making healthier choices

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UPDATED: 5.6.14

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Eating out can be fun and convenient, but it can also be difficult to stick to a healthy diet when dining at restaurants. The portion sizes are often larger than what we would eat for a meal at home and we don’t always have complete information about what is going into our food at restaurants. Here are some tips to help you make healthier choices when dining out:

    • Don’t be afraid to ask your server questions about the ingredients used in the dish or how it is prepared
    • Choose healthier side items like salad or vegetables instead of fries
    • Ask for lower calorie dressings if ordering a salad and ask for dressings and sauces on the side
    • Order foods that are baked, broiled, or grilled instead of breaded or fried
    • Ask the waiter not to bring a basket of bread or chips to your table
    • Split your meal with a friend or eat half of your meal and put the rest in a takeout container to eat later
    • Ask if your meal can be prepared without butter or oil

    Want help finding healthier choices at your favorite restaurants? Check out the Healthy Dining Finder.
    Here of some healthier choices from my favorite restaurants:

    • Zoe’s: The Grilled Chicken & Slaw on a Whole Wheat Pita Sandwich has under 500 calories and 26 grams (~2 servings) of carbohydrates.
    • Macaroni Grill: Try the Pollo Caprese with grilled chicken, capellini pomodoro (thin spaghetti & tomato sauce) and an arugula salad. This one has about 600 calories and 31 grams   (2 servings) carbohydrates.

    Written by: Rebecca Honaker, MPH (April 16, 2014)

    References:

    1. Eating Out Tips. American Diabetes Association. Accessed: 4/16/14.