Question

Healthy Eating Guidelines

How can I make healthy choices at restaurants?

A Answers (4)

  • A Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Eating out in restaurants is certainly one of the biggest danger zones we have in the quest to make healthy eating choices. That’s because most (though not all) restaurants have no vested interest in your health; they have only a vested interest in running their business with foods that can give you immediate pleasure cheaply.

    That said, most restaurant owners are willing to work with you on your health needs if you talk to them and establish a relationship with them. Instead of trying a new place all the time, pick your three or four favorite restaurants and develop relationships with the chefs so that when you come in, they know how you like your food cooked and with what ingredients. Request that they make dishes with olive oil instead of butter, bring out platters of veggies instead of baskets of bread, add certain spices to replace sugar. These requests, of course, require educating yourself to know what you want to sub out and what you want to sub in.

    This Is Your Do-Over: The 7 Secrets to Losing Weight, Living Longer, and Getting a Second Chance at the Life You Want
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  • A Janis Jibrin, MS, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    As a nutritionist, what do you order when you go out to eat?
    Trout or salmon are great options when eating out, in addition to sweet potatoes, brown rice and most vegetable dishes. In this video, I will discuss how she orders at restaurants.
  • A Lisa Lillien, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    How can I make healthy choices at restaurants?
    Restaurants are packed with unhealthy temptations. In this video, "Hungry Girl" author Lisa Lillien reveals how to enjoy a healthy meal out.
  • To make healthy choices at a restaurant, it helps to know a few cooking terms. These are clues about ingredients and preparation methods that can help you make better selections from the menu.

    Choose foods that are described as:

    • Steamed
    • In its own juice
    • Garden fresh
    • Broiled
    • Roasted
    • Poached
    • Dry broiled (in lemon juice or butter)
    • Lean

    Avoid foods that are described as:

    • Buttery, buttered, in butter sauces
    • Creamed, in cream sauce, in its own gravy, hollandaise
    • Au gratin, Parmesan, in cheese sauce, scalloped
    • Sautéed, fried, pan-fried, crispy, braised
    • Breaded, stuffed
    • Casserole, prime, hash, pot pie
    • Marinated (in oil), basted in butter or gravy, in brine
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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