Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Food & Recipes

Font Size

Eat Out, Eat Smart

From deli to Tex-Mex, here are dining-out choices that won't do in your diet

continued...

The key is to choose foods that are more like those actually eaten in China -- with less meat and less sauce.

"Go for the non-fried chicken at a Chinese restaurant," says Hall. "Look for options that are heavy on the veggies, and light on the sauce, like brown rice with vegetables."

Susan Moores, RD, of St. Paul, Minn., suggests these dishes as not-so-unhealthy options: "moo goo gai pan, moo shi (with vegetables, pork, chicken or shrimp, also called moo shu), shrimp, pork, or chicken with Chinese vegetables, Szechwan green beans, or lo mein (with vegetables, pork, chicken, or shrimp)."

And, she says, "boiled, steamed, or lightly stir-fried seafood, chicken, vegetable or bean curd dishes are generally low in fat."

In fact, many Chinese restaurants offer low-cal specials: dishes that are steamed without oil, sugar, or salt. In this category, you can usually find chicken with vegetables, shrimp with vegetables, or an all-veggie platter.

Even those who don't list low-cal dishes on the menu are often willing to steam a dish instead of frying and make other modifications.

Italian

Italian restaurants offer up some tasty options for people watching their diets.

"Order pasta with marinara sauce instead of creamy white or butter sauces such as Alfredo," says Moores, who is a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Not on the mood for marinara? Opt for "chicken cacciatore or piccata, grilled meat or fish, grilled eggplant pomodoro, or polenta and mushrooms," Moores tells WebMD.

As for Italian items to stay away from, "avoid pastas stuffed with cheese or meat, as well as topped with cheese," says Moores. And keep in mind that "parmigiana-style usually translates into higher fat," she says.

But what about that cheesy favorite, pizza?

Portion control is key for this easy-to-eat food, so have one or two slices and round out your meal with a salad, suggests the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic "Recipe Doctor" Elaine Magee, MS, RD. Choose thin-crust pizza, and top it with vegetables instead of meats. Ask for extra sauce -- and half the cheese.

Tex-Mex

There are lots of options on a Tex-Mex menu that are muy delicioso, but which ones won't weigh you down?

"Gazpacho, black bean soup, or jicama with salsa," suggests Moores. "Chile verde, or pork simmered in vegetables and green chiles, and ... dishes cooked in herbed tomato sauces are lower in fat, as is arroz con pollo, or boneless chicken with rice."

In general, when dining south of the border, Moores recommends: "Use salsa instead of sour cream or cheese dips. Choose dishes made with plain, soft tortillas that aren't fried, like burritos or enchiladas. Pick baked entrees; and corn tortillas and Mexican rice are good."

The Pub

Pub fare is usually all-American food: hamburgers, nachos, onion rings ... none of which bode well for your diet.

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
 
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
 

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



bread
Recipes
soup
Recipes
 
roasted chicken
Recipes
grilled steak
Video
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

vegetarian sandwich
Recipes
fresh vegetables
Recipes
 
smoothie
fitArticle
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
Slideshow