There is nothing wrong with the occasional treat yourself trip to the sit-down restaurant, but Americans are eating out at an ever-increasing (sometimes daily) rate, and usually paying the health consequences. It’s tough enough finding healthy food when grocery shopping these days, but put your trust in the hands of a burger joint, a diner, a pizza parlor, or the vast majority of other restaurants and you’re generally asking for trouble. Here are five substitutions to infuse a little more health into your next dining experience away from home.
1) Skip the fries– French fries and potato chips contain little or no nutritional value
and large quantities of fat. At sit-down restaurants, it should be even easier to replace the fries/chips with a side of rice, a small baked potato and/or some veggies.
2) Watch what you drink– Soft drinks are exactly what your body (and teeth)
don’t need, yet they are a stable beverage at fast-food and other restaurants.
Water offers 3 distinct benefits by comparison: it doesn’t cost you anything, it’s
calorie free, and it doesn’t contain any sugar.
3) No over-sized loads– What is your average family meal at home like in terms of
portion size? “Super-sized” combo meals and 17-inch plates heaped with
Thanksgiving-like portions are a recipe for weight gain. Stick to a reasonable
portion size or eat half and get the other half to go.
4) Find a Veggie– Depending on the nature of the establishment, this can be fairly
easy or a bit tricky, but either way, it’s a worthy pursuit. Whether it’s a hamburger
with lettuce and tomato or a plate of pasta with broccoli, choose meals that have some natural color, courtesy of Mother Nature’s best vegetables.
5) Know what you are ordering– Restaurants have begun to reveal how nutritionally unsound some of their meals are. Look at nutritional facts to calorie counts.