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5 Tips for Dining Out and Eating Healthily

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

1. Avoid ordering an appetizer. It's a little known fact thatsome appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course.Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauceswhich will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as transfats 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 caloriesoverall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidantswhich are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold thecroutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load.Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressingsand go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option ofusing vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

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

4. Think about what you're drinking with your meal. By notordering an alcoholic beverage, you've saved yourself aconsiderable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetenedwith a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water withlemon. You'll be glad you did when you consider the caloriesavings.

5. Indulge your sweet tooth wisely. Many of the chain restaurantsnow offer a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such asa low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the healthconscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweetnote. If a healthy dessert option isn't available, try a cup ofcoffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for somethingsweet.

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

By following these steps, you can make your dining experiencesnot 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.


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