Healthy Dining Out

Healthy eating can be a challenge when dining out. With determination and some healthy tips, you can make healthy choices.

Dining in Buffet-style Restaurants:

  • Walk through the line without a plate to see what is available.
  • Do not feel the need to eat every dish available, choose your favorite foods.
  • Use a smaller plate to control your portion sizes.
  • Remove the plate from your table when you are full.
  • Eat most of your food from the salad bar; fill your plate with vegetables and fruits.

Dining in Regular Sit-down Restaurants:

  • Forgo the cocktails, appetizer, bread and butter. Order a salad or non-creamy soup.
  • Use low fat sauces and dressings.
  • Choose seafood, chicken or lean meat instead of fatty meats such as prime rib and liver.
  • Get baked, broiled, steamed, or grilled items instead of fried.
  • Pick a small portion or share the meal with a friend.
  • Limit butter, sour cream, gravies, cream, and cheese sauces.
  • Avoid foods described with the following terms, as they are usually high in fat:
    • Buttery, buttered, in butter sauce
    • Sautéed, fried, crispy, braised
    • Creamed, in gravy, cream, cream sauce
    • Au gratin, in cheese sauce, escalloped
  • Trim all visible skin and fat from meats prior to eating.
  • Request to replace fries, chips, or other high-fat side dishes with salads, steamed vegetables, or a baked potato.
  • Choose fresh fruit, sherbet, gelatin, or angel food cake in place of cheese cake, ice cream, or other traditional high-fat desserts.

Dining in Fast Food Restaurants:

  • Check the nutritional content of food on the restaurant’s website.
  • Choose a side salad, a fruit cup, or a baked potato with fat-free or low-fat sour cream instead of deep fried sides.
  • Avoid ordering sandwiches or burgers with double meat.
  • Order a grilled chicken sandwich rather than a fried chicken sandwich.
  • Choose non-caloric beverages such as water, unsweetened coffee or tea, or diet sodas.
  • Avoid high-calorie condiments such as mayo and ranch dressing; choose lower calorie condiments such as mustard.

A registered dietician can provide tips and guidance to get you on the way to a healthier lifestyle. Call Gundersen Nutrition Therapy at (608) 775-3447 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 53447 to schedule an appointment.

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