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Don’t Let The Menu Scare You!

Don’t Let the Menu Scare You: 5 Tips to Eat Healthy at any Restaurant

If you have a special occasion, invited to a social gathering or you’re craving to your favorite restaurant, don’t be scared to end up gaining weight, just know what to order and you will enjoy eating out. Unfortunately, when you open the menu, you feel that the pages of fried foods are calling your name; this can be a challenge to choose healthy choices.
Here are five ways to stay healthy when you eat out:

Know what to order: When you want to decide what to eat, look for grilled chicken instead of fried chicken, grilled fish instead of fried fish, or chicken salad (without Parmesan cheese) and on the side lemon-mustard sauce, these are great ways to reduce the high fat content found in menu options.

Ask Questions: French fries and coleslaw salad are not the only side option available! Ask what do they have as an alternatives to them, and ask how the meal is cooked. Ask if they have healthy appetizers to begin with like: edamame, cucumber or cauliflower with mustard-lemon sauce.

Understand Menu Terms: Menus can be complicated by using food preparation terms you have never heard of before. Certain terms may show being cooked in high-fat butter or deep fried in oil. Here is a list of some menu terms and their health meaning:

– Gratin, buttered, scalloped, stuffed and creamed can indicate foods prepared with butter and cream. These foods are usually high in calories and fat and their high consumption can lead to weight gain.
– Steamed, roasted, grilled and boiled utilize a dry heat cooking method and typically low fat foods. These are the terms you should look for when you want to decide for a meal.
– Smoked, pickled and cured means high in sodium. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to high blood pressure.

Drink Water: Drinking water with your meal makes you feel full. People who drink water with their meals are less likely to overindulge in the main course. Try to drink water after your meal, and if you want to take a soft drink, order diet soft drinks.
Avoid drinking before or with your meal.

Look at the Menu carefully: When you want to order at a restaurant, look at the ingredients of the meal carefully; try to change the ingredients to make it a healthy meal. Go for lettuce, tomato, and lemon mustard sauce instead of mayonnaise.

Eating out should be fun! When you want to order at a restaurant, keep the above tips in your mind. It is important not to deprive yourself from eating out, but be careful of what to order and always go for healthy meals or change in the ingredients to make it healthy.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

 

 

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Christelle Bedrossian