Friday, May 30, 2014

Restaurant Menu Strategies

We all enjoy eating out and usually peruse the menu looking for healthy choices. Now and then we can get confused about what the best choice might be. Here are a few tips on restaurant fat traps.

Olive oil for dipping
While EVOO is heart healthy, most people go overboard, soaking up as much as a tablespoon - or 119 calorie's worth - with each chunk of bread. Next time, drizzle a little olive oil onto a small plate and add balsamic vinegar to dilute the fat and pump up the flavor.

Chopped Salad
The word "salad" makes it seems light. But because everything is so finely diced, way more fits in the bowl. Chopped salads can contain upwards of 700 calories. Next time, order a regular tossed salad instead. Avoid toppings like crispy Chinese noodles, dried fruit and other high-calorie options. Get dressing on the side along with a few lemon wedges. The lemon can make a little vinaigrette go a long way.

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are a superfood. But when cut into strips and deep-fried, their redeeming qualities are diminished. Plus, many restaurants overdo it on the salt to balance out the vegetable's sweetness, bringing the sodium up to 800 milligrams compared to 40 milligrams for regular fries. Next time, be aware that gram for gram both types of fries contain the same number of calories. Sweet potatoes do have more fiber, calcium, and vitamin A so they are your better bet. Keep portions in control. Have a handful and share with a friend.

Grain Mains
Farro, barley and bulgur are good sources of protein and fiber. But the ratio of grains to veggies is often way out of whack. These dishes are listed as salads but they are more on par with a plate of pasta. Next time, Grain salads tend to keep well for a couple of days. Eat half and save the rest for later. Or ask the waiter to bring out half your order on a bed of mixed greens and have the remainder boxed up.

Share relaxing restaurant meals with family and friends. You can make informed choices and enjoy your food!

No comments:

Post a Comment