Making Healthy Eating Choices When Dining Out

Dining Out Healthy Choice
When you think of eating out at some local restaurant the thought that comes to the mind and probably takes root is the choice of food to choose from; from cheese burgers to tacos, the list is endless. But have you ever thought of easing on the delicacies and for a minute thought of taking something that is healthy and won’t make you add some inches to your waist?

It is no secret that a handful of Americans eat at restaurants, 24% to be precise and making poor dieting choices is disastrous especially for the regulars. That is why one needs some inside knowledge on the types of food that are both good and in the bigger picture promote a healthy lifestyle.

Truth is the menus have loads of healthy choices like fruits and vegetables, lean meat chicken, fish. The list is actually long if you took sometime to look at it and here’s proof.


This menu has some choices that will be easy on your waistline. Go for salsa instead of cheese dips or sour creams. Tortillas that are plain are so much better than enchiladas or burritos that are fried. Corn tortillas are an excellent decision and so are pick baked entrees and Mexican rice.

The aim is to reach for dishes that are low in fat like boneless chicken with rice and arroz von pollo. These are often cooked in herbed tomato sauces. Gazpacho, jicama with salsa, Chile verde and pork simmered in vegetables and green chilies are awesome.

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Pasta is always a favorite, so order it with marinara sauce instead of Alfredo and other butter sauces. Chicken piccata, grilled fish or eggplant pomodoro or polenta and mushrooms can always second marinara.

Pasta with meat and cheese is a no go zone. Parmigiana means more fat so none of that either.

What about pizza? It’s hard to resist, so better order it on a thin crust topped with veggies instead of meats, with more sauce and less cheese. Take two slices tops and finish it off with a salad.


This is the one top spot for hamburgers and nachos and as much as your mouth loves them, the rest of you don’t feel the same.

Nonetheless there are some healthy listings. Barbecued or grilled chicken, meat loaf with tomato sauce, filet mignon or a turkey pita sandwich are some of the options to explore.

Take soups that are transparent or loaded with beans and salad with dressing on its side. Needless to say if topping are bacon and cheese then it’s not a choice to even consider. If you order lean, don’t over eat it just because it has been served.

Skip the appetizers since they are really generous on the fat.


The great thing of a Deli restaurant is that with the option of building your own sandwich you have more control of what you are taking in.

For the bread, go for whole wheat or pumpernickel instead of white bread.

Deli meats are salty and high in sodium. The best thing is to opt for low-fat turkey or ham. The pepperoni, salami and cheeses are also high on the fat so be careful when taking that road.

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Don’t hold back on the veggies, cucumbers and the peppers, both green and red.

Take mustard or a little olive oil, vinegar and maybe a touch of spice instead of mayonnaise.


In a Chinese restaurant in the states, it is harder to name what’s healthy than in China where it is vice versa. Having zero deep fried options really cuts down the menu since the egg rolls chicken wings and fingers fall under this. If your order is dripping in sauces then it’s not the healthiest thing to eat. Go for less sauce and less meat.

The non-fried chicken is okay with vegetables on the heavy side and sauce on the minimum. Brown rice and vegetables is a fine example.

You should stay away from moo shu, moo goo gai pan, shrimp, pork, lo mein all with Chinese vegetables, Szechwan green beans are not so good either.

In most of the Chinese eatery there are low calorie dishes without oil, sugar or salt like chicken shrimp with vegetables or an all veggie patter. If these are not listed then ask for a steamed dish, as opposed to a fried one.

Have fun

Avoiding all those foods seems like a sacrifice especially if they have been your pick for as long as you can remember. But looking at the bigger picture, at least you get a healthy lifestyle, right? Besides the restaurant staff is there to serve you so enjoy the experience.

Restaurants being an integral part of hospitality as an industry will most definitely curve to please you. Therefore ask for your salad dressing, steamed food, and red sauce if having pasta.

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If you are served with a little more than you can take down, there is the choice of take-out boxes that enable you to carry some of it home with you.

Whatever your choice, do not over do it and make sure you are satisfied with both the food and the service that you get.

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1 Response

  1. Good,informative article. Eating healthy when at a restaurant is always difficult for me as there are so many temptations! I am going to try to take this article to heart and remember it when I get tempted!

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