Monday, September 23, 2013

Health Advice: Eat Well When Out

Q: I often travel for work and have to eat at restaurants more than 5x/week.  It's hard to control what the chef puts onto your plate.  What are some tips to stay healthy during mealtime when dining out?

A: Great question!  This is one many people struggle with.  First off stay clear of fancy drinks which can add extra sugar and calories.  Opt for water, unsweetened tea, a glass of wine, vodka and tonic or a simple martini.  

If the location serves large portions, order an appetizer or side dishes instead.  Seafood options for proteins usually contain less sodium and are low-fat.  Search for key words such as "baked salmon", "grilled shrimp" or "sauteed scallops".  Ask for the salad dressing on the side.  A healthy looking salad can be killed by being soaking in a heavy dressing.  Also choose fruit options for dessert instead of sugary cakes or chocolate.
Simple changes can be made when picking ethnic food choices.  When dining out for Mexican food switch to black beans instead of re-fried.  Opt for a soft shell tortilla instead of hard.  A grilled chicken sandwich is a better option instead of a burger.  When ordering Chinese food pick steamed brown rice instead of white.  For your appetizer, Miso soup is much better compared to fried egg rolls.

Some healthy fast food restaurants include Panera Bread which serves organic chicken and half portions dishes.  Their food labels are posted on their menu and online.  Another good pick would be Noodles and Company which cooks with Soybean oil and uses fresh vegetables in a variety of ethnic dishes.

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