Staying Healthy When Dining Out

Most meals served in restaurants contain enough calories and sodium to go well over the average daily recommendation. A Canadian study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2013, showed that one meal served at a chain restaurant can contain over 1100 calories which if following a 2000 calorie diet is well over what is needed in a day.

Restaurant portions are often far too large. One way to divide up your meal is to ask your server to pack up half of it before it gets to the table. This way you’re not tempted to overdo it and you’ll have an extra portion for later on. Another option is to order an entree and share it with your dining companion. This will help you eat less, and can be cost-effective since you’re paying once for two meals!

Cut the fat by choosing a different preparation. Most restaurants will have the option of grilled meats or seafood rather than battered and fried. Ask for dressings and sauces to be served on the side to control the amount of oil.

Don’t feel like you can’t indulge at all. If you’re wanting a burger, have it! You can cut corners by substituting creamy avocado for mayonnaise or order the steak with steamed fresh vegetables or salad rather than a loaded baked potato.

Most restaurants are geared towards those with specific dietary needs. It’s not about depriving yourself, but choosing heart-healthy options to feel more energized after eating and ready to take on the day!

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