Healthy eating on the run: A month of tips

You probably eat out a lot—most Americans do. People are looking for fast, easy and good-tasting foods to fit a busy lifestyle. Whether it’s carry-out, food court, office cafeteria or sit-down restaurant, there are smart choices everywhere.

Here are 10 tips to help you eat healthy when eating out.

1. Think ahead and plan where you will eat. Consider what meal options are available. Look for restaurants or carry-out with a wide range of menu items.

2. Take time to look over the menu and make careful selections. Some restaurant menus may have a special section for “healthier” choices.

3. Read restaurant menus carefully for clues to fat and calorie content. Menu terms that can mean less fat and calories: baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, steamed.

4. Menu terms that can mean more fat and calories: batter-fried, pan-fried, buttered, creamed, crispy, and breaded. Choose these foods only occasionally and in small portions.

5. Order the regular or child-size portion. Mega-sized servings are probably more than you need. For a lighter meal, order an appetizer in place of a main course.

6. It’s OK to make special requests, just keep them simple. For example, ask for a baked potato or side salad in place of French fries; no mayonnaise or bacon on your sandwich; sauces served on the side.

7. Hunger can drive you to eat too much bread before your meal arrives. Hold the bread or chips until your meal is served. Out of sight, out of mind.

8. Think about your food choices for the entire day. If you’re planning a special restaurant meal in the evening, have a light breakfast and lunch.

9. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than one drink for women and two for men. Alcohol tends to increase your appetite and provides calories without any nutrients.

10. Tempted by sweet, creamy desserts? Order one dessert with enough forks for everyone at the table to

have a bite.


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