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Healthy Eating,Vegan and Vegetarian How To Make Healthy Food Choices When Eating Out

How To Make Healthy Food Choices When Eating Out

Eating out can be an enjoyable experience, but it can also be challenging to make healthy food choices. With so many tempting options on the menu, it’s easy to forget about your nutrition goals and indulge in unhealthy foods. However, making healthy food choices while dining out is crucial for maintaining a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. It can be overwhelming to navigate the restaurant menu and decipher which dishes are healthy and which are not. But fear not, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can easily make healthier food choices when eating out without sacrificing the joy of dining out. In this blog, we will share some practical strategies to help you make healthier choices when eating out, allowing you to enjoy your meals without compromising your health.

Research The Restaurant

When it comes to eating out, one of the most important steps towards making healthy food choices is to research the restaurant you plan to visit. The first thing to consider is the type of cuisine offered by the restaurant. Certain cuisines such as Indian, Thai or Vietnamese typically offer healthier options than others. Once you have selected a cuisine, take a look at the restaurant’s menu online. This will give you a good idea of the types of dishes they offer, their ingredients and their nutritional information.

In addition to the menu, take a look at the restaurant’s reviews online. This will give you an idea of the quality of the food and the level of customer service. Look for reviews that mention healthy options or vegetarian/vegan options. Also, check if the restaurant has any awards or certifications for their healthy food choices.

By researching the restaurant before you go, you can make an informed decision about what to order and ensure that you make healthier food choices when eating out.

Check The Menu In Advance

Another helpful tip for making healthy food choices when eating out is to check the menu in advance. Many restaurants now offer their menus online, so take advantage of this by reviewing the options ahead of time. This will allow you to plan your meal and make healthier choices without the pressure of ordering on the spot.

When checking the menu, look for dishes that are grilled, roasted, baked, or steamed instead of fried. Choose dishes with lean protein, such as chicken or fish, and plenty of vegetables. Avoid dishes that are high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Also, pay attention to portion sizes and consider splitting a dish with a friend or taking leftovers home.

By checking the menu in advance, you can make a well-informed decision about what to order and avoid the temptation of unhealthy options. Planning ahead can make a significant difference in maintaining a healthy diet while still enjoying a meal out with friends or family.

Ask For Modifications

When eating out, don’t be afraid to ask for modifications to your order. Most restaurants are happy to accommodate special requests, such as substituting a side dish or leaving off a sauce. This can make a big difference in the overall healthiness of your meal.

For example, if the dish comes with fries, ask if you can swap them for a salad or steamed vegetables. If the sauce is high in calories and fat, ask for it on the side or request a lighter dressing. If the dish is fried, ask if it can be grilled or baked instead.

By asking for modifications, you can tailor your meal to meet your dietary needs and preferences. Not only will this make your meal healthier, but it will also help you feel more in control of your choices.

Just be sure to ask politely and make your requests clear to the server. They are there to make your dining experience enjoyable, and most will be happy to assist you in any way they can.

Control Portions

When dining out, the portion sizes served are usually larger than what you would normally consume at home. Therefore, it is essential to control your portions when eating out. Here are some tips to help you control your portions when eating out:

  • Share Your Meal: Sharing your meal with a friend or family member is a great way to control your portions. Most restaurants serve large portions that are enough for two people. Splitting the meal not only helps to control the portion size but also helps you save money.
  • Order An Appetizer or A Side Dish As Your Main Meal: Appetizers and side dishes are usually smaller in portion size than main meals. You can order an appetizer or side dish as your main meal to control your portions.
  • Ask For A To-Go Box: If you are served a large portion, ask for a to-go box and pack half the meal for later. This helps to control your portions and also gives you a meal for later.
  • Order From The Children’s Menu: Some restaurants offer smaller portions on their children’s menu. You can order from the children’s menu to control your portions.
  • Use Your Hand As A Guide: Use your hand to estimate portion sizes. For example, a serving of protein should be the size of your palm, a serving of grains or starches should be the size of your fist, and a serving of vegetables should be the size of your open hand.

Choose Healthy Beverages

Choosing healthy beverages is an essential part of making healthy food choices when eating out. Many beverages, such as sugary sodas, energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages, are loaded with calories and added sugars, which can quickly add up and sabotage your healthy eating goals.

To make healthier choices, opt for beverages such as water, unsweetened tea, or sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime. These options are low in calories and free of added sugars. If you’re looking for something with a little more flavor, consider ordering a freshly squeezed juice or smoothie made with fresh fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, it’s best to limit your consumption or avoid them altogether. If you do choose to indulge, go for a light beer, a glass of wine, or a spirit mixed with soda water and a splash of citrus. Be mindful of the size of your drink and try to limit your consumption to one or two servings.

Avoid Fried And Fatty Foods

When eating out, it’s essential to be mindful of the foods you’re consuming. One way to make healthy choices is to avoid fried and fatty foods. These types of foods are often high in calories and unhealthy fats, which can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.

When scanning the menu, look for keywords such as fried, battered, or crispy, as these dishes are likely to be high in fat and calories. Instead, opt for grilled, baked, or roasted options. For example, choose grilled chicken instead of fried chicken, or a baked potato instead of French fries.

It’s also important to pay attention to the preparation methods used by the restaurant. Some dishes may be labeled as healthy but may still be cooked in unhealthy oils or with added sauces that are high in calories. Don’t be afraid to ask your server about the preparation methods and ingredients used in a particular dish.

Making healthy food choices while eating out can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. By researching the restaurant, checking the menu in advance, asking for modifications, controlling portions, and avoiding fried and fatty foods, one can make healthier choices while dining out. However, people often hesitate to do so due to social pressure or the belief that healthy options are not as tasty. It’s essential to remember that one’s health should be a priority, and making healthy choices can still be delicious and enjoyable. By taking small steps towards making healthier choices while eating out, one can lead a healthier lifestyle without sacrificing social events or dining experiences.

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