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Eating Out the Healthy Way

How to dine out without overdoing it
(continued)

Keep It Simple continued...

Simple foods like grilled fish or steamed veggies are delicious if they are dusted with spices, or topped with salsa or a squeeze of fresh lemon. Start learning to savor the taste of fresh foods, prepared simply, and forgo the added ingredients that pump up the calories.

One ingredient often found on or in restaurant food is cheese, which can cost you plenty of extra fat and calories. Cheese is nutritious when eaten in moderation, so just make sure it is in your eating plan before you order something made with cheese.

I probably don't need to remind you that you should avoid fried foods (menus might describe them as crispy or breaded), including french fries. All these foods contain way too many of the wrong kind of calories. You can indulge in any food on occasion, but forget about deep-fried foods as a regular part of your diet.

When ordering soups, choose broth-based ones over cream-based types to save calories. Researchers have found that when you eat broth-based soup before a meal, you tend to eat less at the meal. That's because soups are filling, especially when they contain vegetables. Give it a try and see if a first course of soup helps you to eat less.

On the Side

Salad dressings and sauces can add a whopping number of calories to a meal. They are best ordered on the side, so you can control how much you use.

A trick to maximize flavor and reduce calories is to stick the tines of your fork into the sauce or dressing before piercing your entrée or salad. Mixing a little vinegar or water with your salad dressing is another way to cut calories.

Keep in mind that vegetable-based sauces like tomato are healthier than creamy ones for topping pasta, meats, fish or appetizers. And whenever possible, use the light versions of mayonnaise and salad dressing. I am often impressed with how similar they taste.

Eat Light and Right

It's so easy to eat too much of the bread or tortilla chips that sit on the table and tempt you. Take a small portion and put them out of your reach, or ask the waiter to take them away.

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