Making healthy choices when dining out is simple. Find out how to feel confident and at ease when going out to eat with friends, family or alone.
One of the greatest challenges we face when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle centers around making good choices when dining out. It’s like deciding if we should do video content. It’s difficult to know exactly what’s in a dish or how it’s prepared, for example. Sometimes it can seem rather frustrating. The good news is that no matter where you are, it’s almost always possible to make tasty, satisfying and healthy choices. The following are suggestions on how to do that in a simple, hassle-free way that frees you up to enjoy that time out with family or friends!
- Avoid the bread basket – No matter how delicious it looks, you can be sure that those tasty morsels have loads of white flour and, often, sugar in them. The exception might be found at raw foods or health conscious restaurants where the breads are often made of sprouted grains or raw ingredients. Even then, check with the server. And remember that whole wheat flour is usually just a less refined version of the white stuff. Bread contains empty calories which are hard for our bodies to digest.
- Stick with grilled meats and fish – I find that, in addition to being much more healthful than other options, grilled meats and fish maintain their original flavor much better than those that are fried or sautéed. A simple grilled dish is not only tasty, but doesn’t include unhealthy oils found in fried items. Even sautéed foods can have an excess of fats that are unhealthy. I’d also suggest that if you must have some kind of sauce on your grilled meat, ask for it on the side and use very sparingly. Again, hidden sugars and fats abound.
- Use simple salad dressing – You’d be surprised at how much of your daily fat intake might come from salad dressing. Take a look at the back of the bottle of your favorite kind and you’ll see that there’s usually an awful lot of saturated fat. Again, there’s also the potential for lots of sugars here. It’s no different in a restaurant. To avoid this, ask for olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s such a delicious antidote to the unhealthy options and really brings out the flavors in fresh vegetables.
There’s no reason you can’t make healthy, yummy choices when dining out virtually anywhere. It just takes a little thought to end up with a healthy meal that tastes great and doesn’t make you feel as though you’re sacrificing anything. Here’s to your good health!
Nikki Ostrower is the founder of NAO Nutrition, a private practice in New York City specializing in weight loss, eating disorders, autism, fatigue and heart disease. She has a degree in Business Management from SUNY Binghamton and a certificate from The Academy of Healing Nutrition.