With today’s busy schedules, more and more of us are eating out on a regular basis, whether it's for a birthday treat, business lunch, friends’ get-together or a family meal. For some people, eating outside is an addiction while for others it’s 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 “natural flavor”, 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 it’s 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
Healthy Eating Out Tips
- Dishes that are labeled as fried, crispy, pan-fried, sautéed, 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, don’t be shy to ask your waiter or chef how it’s 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 rathe
- 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 — 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.
- Don’t 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.