Tips For Eating Out The Healthy Way
With todayís busy schedules, more and more of us are eating out on a regular basis, whether it's for a birthday treat, business lunch, friendsí get-together or a family meal. For some people, eating outside is an addiction while for others itís an occasional treat. Kids these days are crazy about all the junk food because many fast food restaurants add MSG (Monosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate), a food additive and often commonly marketed, rather misleadingly, as ďnatural flavorĒ, which artificially enhances the taste of their food. MSG can cause serious damage to your body and brain. Thus the next time you or your child or anyone you know is planning to go outside for a meal, it is advisable to do a thorough research about that restaurant and how the food is prepared. Outside food is higher in fat and research has shown that those who eat regularly outside have a higher intake of salt and calories. One should understand that eating outside on a regular basis can cause serious damage to body functions like mental functioning, emotional well-being, energy, strength, weight and future health. But itís not necessary that eating outside has to be unhealthy. With these few clever tricks you can make your food outside as healthy as home food.
Healthy Eating Out Tips
Eating outside isnít a sin. Itís alright to eat outside once in a while as long as you think of it as a treat and not as everyday food, especially if you order healthy.
- Dishes that are labeled as fried, crispy, pan-fried, sautťed, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, and scalloped or in cream sauce are indications of higher fats and calories. Instead, order items with more vegetables and leaner meats or items which are steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, poached or roasted. If you are not sure about a particular dish, donít be shy to ask your waiter or chef how itís prepared.
- Ask your chef to prepare your meal with vegetable oil or soft margarine or olive oil rather than butter or lard. Too much of butter or lard can cause heart diseases.
- Avoid eating high-sodium foods like pickles, cocktail sauce, smoked foods or those with soy or teriyaki sauce. Look for lighter versions of these sauces or ask them to serve it on the side. Also ask your chef not to prepare your food with MSG or extra salt.
- Increase your fiber intake by asking for whole wheat or whole grain buns rather than regular bread. Also have your salad made of vegetables and fruits that are rich in fiber.
- Avoid aerated drinks by drinking water or low-fat milk or 100% fresh fruit juice. There are chances that canned juice or tinned juice may contain MSG. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to one or two drinks because after drinking a lot u might indulge yourself in food and end up eating more than needed.
- If you are planning to eat salad then ask your waiter to serve you the salad and dressing separately. Undress your salads or else healthy and nutritious salad could be drowned in a high fat sauce, bumping up its calorie content.
- If you are eating out with children, talk them into sharing a healthy dish with you. Generally children's menus tend to be high in calories and fats (hot dogs, Mac and cheese, burgers, etc.) Both adults and children will eat reasonable portions by sharing ó plus, it reduces both food waste and the eating out cost.
- If you have a sweet tooth and are in the mood for a dessert after your meal then opt for fruit based drinks such as sherbets (sorbets) instead of high-fat cakes & ice creams.
- Donít force yourself to finish the entire meal. Share a large meal or take the leftovers home.
- Takeaway is also a very good option if you use the same ideas mentioned above. Also you could walk to the restaurant and walk back home in case of takeaways. Exercise is always good for health.