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Eat Out, Eat Smart

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


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.


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."

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