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Making a Healthy Choice While Eating Out Of Home

Posted by : Natasha Kapre Vora

On : 07 October 2014

Comments : 1

Views : 3987


Eating healthy nutritious food and eating out in a restaurant or snacking out are rarely complimentary activities. In fact eating out is the primary reason for an unhealthy lifestyle. It is a gamble especially for people who are watching their weight or managing certain health conditions as outside food is high in fats, calories and sodium. Yet we all need a break and socialising is our basic need and so with little information, some smart choices and the determination to stick to portion sizes, you too can enjoy a healthy meal while dining out without going on a guilt trip. The trick lies in choosing the best of the worst!

At an Indian restaurant- To begin with keep those extra calories from sugar at bay by choosing natures zero calorie drink water over other aerated drinks or mocktails/cocktails. If you need to have a beverage ,choose buttermilk/chaas, Jaljeera or fresh lime soda/water with no or little sugar. Instead of the fried appetizers like paneer pakoras/chicken lolypop/fried fish go in for tandoori/grilled or shashlik varieties like tandoori paneer/chicken tikka etc. One can even choose to have a lentil soup instead. For the main course, do away with pooris, bhaturas, naan and go in for wheat rotis or chapatis instead. In case you have enjoyed the not so healthy variety, you can order steamed rice instead of a Biryani/Pulao. Choose tomato based gravies instead of malai or cashew based ones. Request your food to be made using less oil and no butter. Since most restaurants are now familiar with the health conscious crowd, they are more than willing to make changes to their dishes to keep their clientele happy. Desserts no matter what you choose will always add a lot of refined sugar and load you with calories so if you choose to have one ,share it with your friends. Remember even one bite gives you the taste .

At the coffee shop - Order a small/regular sized coffee, cappuccino, tea or latté instead of large or extra-large, creamy hot or cold drinks. Ask for drinks to be made with low fat or skim milk, and skip the whipped cream topping. For snacks avoid brownies and pastries/puffs. Instead choose brown bread sandwiches, chicken/vegetable rolls.

At the burger place – Firstly check your portion sizes. Go in for the small or child-sized meal, a salad with low fat dressing, or a grilled chicken sandwich or a vegetable wrap. Skip the fries and try a baked potato or fresh fruit. Keep away from extra cheese option!

At the sandwich shop - Choose multigrain or whole wheat bread. For added fibre and nutrition, ask to pile on the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce. Avoid potato filling and cheese. Keep low on the tomato ketchup (as it is a lot of sugar) and use more green chutney for flavour.

If you like Italian food -While tasty, eating Italian when out isn't always a healthy option, or a good dieter's choice because the calories and saturated fat can add up by way of cream sauces and cheese!. Yet it is possible to choose healthily at Italian restaurants. In breads, garlic bread is full of saturated fats with butter and cheese. If you plan on having a pizza , avoid such kind of doubling up altogether! If you cannot avoid breads, bruchetta seems to be a better option. When it comes to pasta, choose pasta served in a tomato-based or red sauce(marinara) instead of a creamy white, Alfredo sauce. When available, whole wheat pastas are the best option. Top it up with a variety of vegetables. If pizza is your choice of main course then keep away from cheese stuffed crust and go for thin crust .Choose vegetable or lean meat toppings and make a request for less cheese. Dishes that you'll need to sidestep include lasagne, ravioli, cannelloni, chicken or eggplant Parmesan because all these have the cheese included as part of the cooking process and it cannot be extracted.

At A Chinese Place – Chinese food can be healthy as it includes a variety of vegetables which are partially cooked, provided it is cooked using less oil. Avoid the deep-fried items like wontons or dumplings, choose steamed ones instead. Give steamed fish/chicken, stir-fried dishes with rice, and exotic Chinese greens a try. Ask for your meal to be cooked without monosodium glutamate (MSG) better known as ajinomoto.

At a  Mexican Place - Try a soft taco or burrito. Sour cream and extra cheese can hike up the calories and fat.

If you like Thai food - Try a cold spring roll in rice paper instead of a deep-fried one. Chicken satays are a good choice, as well as dishes accompanied with steamed jasmine rice.

If you like Japanese food - Go easy on the deep fried shrimp or vegetable tempura. Sushi, cucumber salad, udon noodles, soba (buckwheat) noodles, and sukiyaki (meat, vegetables, tofu and noodle simmered in a pot) are healthier alternatives.

When you're on the run - Pack portable, ready-to-eat snacks like fresh fruit, pre-cut vegetables like cucumber, carrot, bell peppers. Roasted chana/sprouts/Khakras can be kept handy. You can always carry unsalted nuts or dryfruits while on the go so that they give good energy and help you avoid hunger pangs.Keep some of these foods at your desk, in your purse, or in your briefcase for a quick bite when you're really pressed for time. Don't forget a couple of napkins and spoons!

Also Read: 7 Tips to Boost up your Metabolism