Foodies enjoy eating and trying new things, so why not try healthier food options? Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do for your body. A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons in the fight against heart disease and stroke.
When dining out, it’s important to understand what’s on the menu. Many restaurants offer delicious meals that are low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol; and most places will even prepare your food to order. With a little bit of effort, you can ensure that the meals you eat away from home are part of a healthy diet and still delicious!
Keep these tips in mind when deciphering the menu:
- Remember that foods served fried, au gratin, crispy, scalloped, pan-fried, sautéed, buttered, creamed or stuffed are high in fat and calories. Instead, look for steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, poached or roasted foods.
- Choose entrees that feature seafood, chicken or lean meat, and avoid fatty meats.
- Ask for butter, cream cheese, salad dressings, sauces and gravies to be served on the side, so you can control the quantity you consume.
- Controlling your portions while eating out can be a little difficult, some restaurants pile the food on your plate while others give you just a bite. Learning to eat smart potions is a big part of eating healthier. Eat reasonable portions, even when you’re served more than you need. If there are small plate options, opt for those over a plate that may tempt you to overeat.
Trying different cuisines can mean not knowing how the foods are being prepared. Many Cajun dishes are high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium, while Italian food can contain a lot of full-fat cheeses and cream sauces that add saturated fat and calories you don’t need. Don’t be hesitant to ask your server how particular foods are prepared or what ingredients they contain.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to take the fun out of being a foodie. Your heart and your taste buds will thank you for trying new, heart-healthy foods! Visit heart.org/healthyforgood for more tips on living healthy.