Healthy Restaurant Dining
Fitness Handout:According to a 2010 USDA report, eating just one meal at a restaurant adds an average of 134 calories to your daily energy intake, so a once-a-week dining-out habit translates to roughly 2 pounds gained per year (Todd, Mancino & Lin 2010). Now consider that most Americans eat away from home an average of 5.8 times per week—a fifth of their meals and a third of their total calorie intake (Berman & Lavizzo-Mourey 2008)—and the importance of bolstering your eating-out expertise becomes clear. With that in mind, consider these practical strategies for eating healthfully while dining in restaurants, from Megan Senger, writer, sales consultant and fitness instructor based in North Carolina.
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- Look for grilled, steamed, poached, baked, roasted and braised.
- Avoid battered, buttery, scalloped, crispy, creamed, creamy, fried, rich, in cheese sauce, hollandaise, béarnaise, tempura, with gravy, au gratin, Alfredo, breaded, croquettes, à la king, Newburg and deep fried.
- For sodium concerns, avoid smoked, broth, creole sauce, tomato base, fish sauce, barbecued, soy sauce, marinated, Parmesan, hoisin sauce, pickled, teriyaki, cocktail sauce, mustard sauce and chili paste.
Todd, J.E., Mancino, L., & Lin, B.H. 2010. The impact of food away from home on adult diet quality, ERR-90, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err90/; retrieved May 28, 2012.
Wu, H.W., & Sturm, R. 2012. What’s on the menu? A review of the energy and nutritional content of US chain restaurant menus. Public Health Nutrition (May 11), 1–10.
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