7 Ways to Eat Healthier at Your Favorite Restaurant

by Botsford Hospital dietitians Annie House RD, CDE and Gina DeAngelis, RD

It’s seven-o-clock on a Friday and you’re meeting your friends at the neighborhood restaurant.  The menu comes and you freeze!  It feels like there are a million different options…and honestly most of them sound fabulous! But if you’re trying to lose weight or have diabetes, how do you make a good decision when there’s no nutrition information on the menu?

Making healthy choices when you’re dining out can be difficult these days if you don’t know what to look for.

Here are 7 simple things you can do to find healthier options when dining out:

  1. Look for these descriptive words in your appetizer and entrée
    • Baked
    • Steamed
    • Stewed
    • Broiled
    • Roasted
    • Fresh
    • Poached
    • Seared
    • Spiced
    • Seasoned
    • Rubbed
    • Broth
    • Whole grain
  2. Avoid these descriptive words
    • Fried
    • Battered, crispy, crunchy, crusted
    • Buttery
    • Breaded
    • Pan-fried
    • Creamed
    • Scalloped
    • Glazed
    • Gooey
    • Melted
    • Smothered
    • Cheesy
    • Country Style
    • A la mode
    • Tempura
  3. Don’t be afraid to make substitutions.  If it comes with fries ask if you can have a side salad or even a baked potato instead.
  4. Take it home!  Put half your food in the to – go box right from the start.
  5. Look for symbols that flag healthier meal options.
  6. Eat the lowest calorie item first such as the side of vegetables or salad.
  7. Be the first person to order – don’t let other people’s ordering affect your choice.

Enjoy your dining out experience but make good decisions so you won’t regret it later!

Want more tips to help you eat healthy while dining out? Come to our next “Saturday Sizzler” discussion where we’ll talk about dining out with diabetes or visit Botsford’s diabetes and nutrition website for more resources.

What are your tricks for eating healthy while dining out?  Please share them in the comments — we might include them in a future post or newsletter!

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