Eating Healthy In Restaurants

Although it may be easy to read labels for food cooked at home, it is more difficult to learn about the nutritional content of food when eating in a restaurant. There are choices, however, for making entrées healthier when eating out. For example, ordering and eating smaller portions is one way of eating healthy. Substituting lower calorie foods, such as fruit or vegetables, for fries or heavy side dishes, is another option.

Avoid eating bread before a meal. The bread may taste good, but it is high on the glycemic index, low in fiber, and low in other needed nutrients. Ask for sauces on the side, and then use exactly the amount wanted. Ask about how food is cooked and whether or not the sauce is made from cream. Cream sauces taste good, but they are not healthy. If possible, avoid fried foods. These also taste great, but some of the oil used in cooking is always retained in the food and adds a lot of calories and grams of fat to the meal.

Consider ordering two appetizers instead of a large main course. This alternative will be cheaper, and lower in the calories and fats. If the main course is large, do not force yourself to eat it all. Bring half of it home for a later meal. This both halves the cost of the meal and halves the calorie and fat intake. Instead of ordering a big dessert, share one or a small number of desserts with the whole table.

To determine portion sizes, use the following criteria: 3 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards. One cup of vegetables is the size of a fist. A cup of fresh fruit equals the size of a baseball. Half a cup of rice is half a tennis ball. One medium potato is equal to the size of a computer mouse. A teaspoon of butter is equal to the tip of the thumb. An ounce of cheese equals 4 dice.

and modernization of traditional diets. Diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes that were once considered limited to industrial countries have become worldwide epidemics. The report recommended that people change their daily eating habits and increase their levels of exercise. The organizations suggested that people reduce the intake of energy-rich foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar, lower the amount of sodium (salt) in their diet, increase the fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly. Their recommendations are close to the Healthy Eating Pyramid discussed earlier.

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