Nutrition

How to eat healthy when dining out

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

How to eat healthy when dining out

Please note: As you read some of the fat and calorie numbers below, keep in mind that most of us need no more than 1,800 to 2,000 calories and 55 to 65 grams of fat for an entire day.

1. Go online before you dine. People consistently underestimate the calories, fat and sodium in a typical restaurant meal. Don't make that mistake. Most restaurants today, especially fast-food outlets, coffee houses, and doughnut shops, provide full nutritional information for all of their products on their websites. You need to know what you're eating. Print off the nutrition information from the places you eat at most often and keep a copy in your car. Get your kids involved -- they need to learn how to make healthy choices too.

2. Super-sized portions equal super-sized people. Bigger portions on a plate encourage people to eat as much as 50 per cent more calories. That's why it's so important to downsize, not super-size. The smallest portions available, including those intended for children, are generally the best size for everyone. A small hamburger may ring in at only 250 calories and 8 grams of fat, but a double patty mega-burger can set you back 700 calories and 40 grams of fat. A smalll order of fries might contribute 250 calories and 11 grams of fat, but go for large and we're talking 600 calories and 30 grams of fat or more. Another way to downsize is to share your entree with a friend or enjoy an appetizer as a main course meal.

3. Go for greens, but dress them properly. Salads are a super part of any meal, as long as you're wary of calorie-laden dressings and fatty extras like cheese or bacon. A fully dressed large caesar salad may cost you over 500 calories and more than 50 grams of fat. Slash the calories and fat by ordering light or low-fat dressings. Get the dressing on the side so you control how much you use. Always opt for salads made with darker greens like spinach or romaine, rather than less nutritious iceberg lettuce. Add beans, lean grilled chicken, or fish if you want a main meal salad.

4. Deep-fried is dangerous. Avoid deep-fried foods as much as possible. They're loaded with calories and fat, which often includes nasty trans fats. Doughnuts, fries, onion rings, nacho chips, chicken nuggets or strips, and breaded fish or chicken are all foods that are generally cooked by deep frying. They're definitely not good for your waistline and, especially if they contain trans fats, they're also bad for your heart.

5. Build a better sandwich. A six-inch sub sandwich made with fatty cold cuts like salami, plus cheese and mayo, can hit you with more than 600 calories and 40 grams of fat. A six-inch turkey breast sandwich made with lean turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mustard provides less than 300 calories and five grams of fat. When ordering a sandwich, request whole grain bread. Stick to lean protein choices like turkey or ham (both are unfortunately still high in sodium). A vegetarian sandwich made with hummus is an even healthier option. Stuff your sandwich with lots of veggies. Hold the mayo or choose low-fat or light mayo if available. Consider sharing large sandwiches with a friend. For example, most bagels today contain the equivalent or three to four slices of bread. If your sandwich is made with a bagel or large bun, half is all you need.

Page 1 of 2 – more health eating tips on page two!



Excerpted from Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health...and Don't Forget the Chocolate! by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith. Copyright 2007 by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith. Excerpted with permission from Whitecap Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

 

6. The two slice pizza rule. I've yet to meet a person who doesn't like pizza. It's one of those universally loved foods. The problem -- it doesn't fit easily into a healthy diet. How do you make it fit? Go thin crust (whole wheat or multigrain), light on the cheese, no fatty meat toppings, and always limit yourself to two slices. For example, two large slices of a veggie lover's thin crust pizza will cost you about 350 calories and 14 grams of fat. Not a low-fat meal, but it's reasonable. If two slices doesn't fill you up, enjoy it with a salad on the side (low-fat dressing, of course!). Compare that to a deep dish, meat lover's pizza topped with bacon, sausage and pepperoni. Two large slices rings in at about 700 calories and 40 whopping grams of fat (most is the artery-clogging saturated kind!).

7. Choose chicken, fish or beans – not ribs, wings or alfredo. Grilled chicken or fish (especially salmon with those incredible omega-3 fats), chili, bean soups, veggie-loaded stir-fries, and pasta with tomato sauce are all great menu options. A side order of grilled or roasted veggies is always a wise idea. If it's beef you want, a small filet mignon or sirloin steak is your best bet. Steer clear of chicken wings, ribs, and cream-based pasta sauces like alfredo – they're called heart-attack-on-a-plate for good reason.

8. Avoid liquid candy and calorie-laden shakes and smoothies. For many people, beverages have become a major source of calories in the diet. A large soft drink (24 oz/730 mL) provides more than 300 calories and 20 teaspoons of sugar. A large milkshake, McFlurry, or blizzard-type drink can contain from 800 to more than 1,300 calories, 27 to more than 50 grams of fat, and as much as 35 teaspoons of sugar per serving. I believe in "everything in moderation," but these concoctions are outrageous -- way beyond moderation. Even smoothies, which many think of as the ultimate health drink, can push the limit with over 600 to 700 calories per serving (the best type of smoothie is the homemade kind, made with real fruit and low-fat milk or soy milk). So, what should you drink with your meal? How about a glass of milk, some water, or an unsweetened iced tea? Sparkling water or mineral water with lime or a touch of fruit juice is also light and refreshing. Chocolate milk for the kids is a much better option than pop. And for alcoholic beverages, a light beer or wine spritzer helps keep calories under control.

9. Be cautious at the coffee counter. Large-size specialty coffees, iced coffees, and hot chocolates made with syrups, whipped cream, and full-fat milk or cream can clock in at more than 500 calories and 16 grams of fat. That's not a beverage, that's a meal. Specialty teas made with whole milk, like some chai teas, aren't much better, containing almost 300 calories and 16 grams of fat. If you have a large muffin, scone or giant-size cookie with your beverage, count on adding another 400 to 500 calories or so and another 20 or more grams of fat. And some people do this every single day! If ever there was a time to keep it simple, that time is now. Your best bet: a latte or cappuccino made with skim milk or a simple green or black tea. If you must have a snack, consider a nature bar made with nuts and seeds, and share it with a friend.

10. Ditch dessert, take a walk. On occasion, a decadent dessert, shared with a friend, is perfectly acceptable (especially when it's made with chocolate!). More frequent dessert diners should consider low-fat frozen yogurt or fresh fruit, like seasonal berries. At fast-food outlets, most berry parfaits are healthy and delicious. A small soft serve cone has less fat than most other options. But the truth is, by the time most people get to dessert they've already had more calories than they need. My advice? Instead of dessert, go for a walk and burn off those extra calories.

Page 2 of 2



Excerpted from Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health...and Don't Forget the Chocolate! by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith. Copyright 2007 by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith. Excerpted with permission from Whitecap Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

 

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Nutrition

How to eat healthy when dining out

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