Eat Out, Eat Smart
From deli to Tex-Mex, here are dining-out choices that won't do in your diet
The Pub continued...
But don't cry in your light beer. You can find some healthier items on a pub
menu, such as "barbecue chicken or grilled chicken, pot roast, meat loaf
with tomato sauce, filet mignon or sirloin steak, or a turkey pita
sandwich," says Susan Mitchell, RD, of Winter Park, Fla.
She also recommends "soups if they are loaded with beans or you can see
through them (as in broth-based), and salad with the dressings on the side"
-- but watch out for fatty toppings like bacon, cheese, and croutons.
Pub fare tends to be served in generous portions. So even if you order lean,
"Portions are typically huge, so split when you can," says Mitchell,
author of Fat is Not Your Fate. "And most appetizers are super-high
fat (battered and fried) so it's best to skip unless there is peel-'n'-eat
shrimp or oysters on the half shell."
Enjoy the Experience
Whatever type of restaurant you choose, remember that dining out is supposed
to be a pleasant experience. More important, you're the customer -- and the
wait staff and chefs are there to please.
"It's important to keep in mind that the restaurant industry is a
hospitality industry," says Sheila Cohn, RD, senior manager of nutrition
policy at the National Restaurant Association. "Ask for your salad dressing
on the side, ask for grilled or steamed veggies instead of fried food, ask for
red sauce instead of cream sauce with pasta.
"Almost every restaurant is happy to make accommodations for you and
help you receive the meal you want."
Another important point to keep in mind: Whether you go for a healthy menu
choice or decide to splurge on a high-calorie favorite, too much of a good
thing is just too much.
"A lot of people are concerned over portion size," says Cohn.
"But over 90% of restaurants have take-out boxes, which means you can turn
tonight's dinner into tomorrow's lunch."