How to Eat Healthy at Restaurants

by The Cooperative
 When life gets busy, sometimes it can seem unrealistic to make every meal at home, so going out to eat or ordering take-out food becomes a more accessible option. Whether you are eating at a restaurant or ordering restaurant food for take-out, there are a few simple ideas to help you stay on track with your nutrition goals.
  • Plan ahead: Start by choosing a restaurant with many healthy menu options. If you can access the menu online ahead of time, take a few minutes to decide what you will have before you go. Look to see if there is nutrition information available.
  • Watch your portions: You can split your meal or dessert with others, so you aren’t tempted to overeat. You can also split your food into the portion you want and ask for a takeaway container before your meal is complete, and package your second portion of food away for another meal later.
  • Ask: Ask about possible substitutions, side dishes, and low-calorie beverage options. Request that dressings or condiments be placed on the side, so you have more control over what you are eating.
  • Items to Limit: Try to limit items with words that include crispy, fried, buttered, creamed, and smothered. Sauteed, breaded, au gratin, scalloped, hollandaise, bearnaise, alfredo, or batter dipped.
  • Items to Look For: Look for items with the words broiled, baked, roasted, grilled, boiled, poached, or steamed.
These simple tips can be a good start to healthy choices when eating out. See which strategies work best for you the next time you are out to eat or order food for take-out!

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