RESTAURANT TIPS

Restaurant Tips

It might seem impossible to eat healthy when dining out. But with a few tips, you can choose healthier food options so you can continue to enjoy your favorite restaurants. Here are some tips we’ve collected – share your ideas on our blog!

ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

  • Choose Whole Grains: Many restaurants are now offering whole wheat pasta, which contains more fiber and nutrients than regular pasta. For people that are sensitive to gluten, brown rice pasta may also be available. When ordering pasta, ask your server about your options.
  • Choose Lean Meats: Grilled chicken and grilled fish are healthier alternatives to beef and pork.
  • Watch Fat Content: Cream sauces and breaded and fried foods contain saturated and trans fats that you want to try to avoid. Tomato based sauces and grilled meats are a healthier alternative.
  • Choose Veggies: Dishes that are loaded with veggies – including salads, vegetarian soups and entrees with vegetables as a side – are a great way to get vitamins and minerals when eating out.
  • Watch Pizza Toppings: If you love pizza – and most people do – choose vegetables and lean meats as toppings. When possible, avoid fatty meats, like sausage and pepperoni, and extra cheese to decrease the fat content.

ASIAN RESTAURANTS

  • Choose Whole Grains: Just like Italian restaurants, many Asian restaurants now offer brown rice. Ask your server if you can substitute brown rice for white rice.
  • Avoid Fried Food: Try to steer clear of fried foods – such as egg rolls, spring rolls, and breaded and fried meats. Salad rolls, if available, are a great healthy option for an appetizer because they aren’t fried. If you aren’t sure if a dish is fried, ask your server.
  • Choose Veggies: Asian restaurants almost always have a large selection of vegetable plates that are loaded with nutrients and contain less fat than meat plates.
  • Choose Lean Meats: Again, chicken and fish dishes are usually lower in fat than beef and pork dishes. But be sure to watch out for fried meats. Look for meat dishes that are grilled or stir-fried to keep the fat content down.

BREAKFAST RESTAURANTS

  • Sugar Watch: Pastries and dishes with maple syrup and powdered sugar are filled with empty calories (calories that contain little or no nutrients). These foods should be avoided and eaten only rarely and in small amounts.
  • Go Easy on Dairy: Many breakfast foods contain loads of cream, butter and cheese. For some items, like breakfast burritos, you can skip the cheese to decrease the fat. You can also ask to butter your own toast to use a minimal amount.
  • Choose Lean Meats: If chicken or turkey options are available, such as chicken apple sausage, choose these items instead of pork and beef. And look for fish options, such as salmon.
  • Choose Veggies and Fruit: Load up your omelet with more veggies and less cheese for a healthier option. And if you’re looking for something sweet, ask for a side of fruit instead of ordering a pastry.

SANDWICHES

  • Choose Whole Grains: Look for wheat bread instead of white bread. If you’re sensitive to gluten, ask for gluten-free bread or turn your sandwich into a salad!
  • Choose Lean Meats: Turkey, chicken and fish are better alternatives to roast beef and ham.
  • Choose Veggies: In addition to lettuce, choose tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, peppers, mushrooms and other healthy veggies to pack your sandwich with nutrients.
  • Go Easy on Dairy: Creamy spreads and cheese can fill your sandwich with unhealthy fats and calories. Choose spreads that are vegetable oil based (like balsamic vinaigrette) and avoid or go easy on the cheese.