5 Health Tips for Dining Out

People who eat out often can fall into the bad habit of ordering their favorite dishes without concern for its nutritional value. This can obviously vary from person to person. For example, many people order French fries with every meal, or others may insist on having a beer each time they order, or maybe they order meat every time to make sure they get ‘bang for their buck’. In any case, dining out can easily lead to bad eating habits. If you only go out once and while, eat whatever you want. But if you are like the many living in an affluent society today, you probably eat out often.

Here are some suggestions on what you can to order to ensure a healthier dining experience:

1. Choose a Healthy Restaurant – Instead of going to the pizza joint, pub or fast food restaurant, try new locations that offer a healthier menu. Variety is a good rule of thumb. Try new dining experiences and new foods, such as Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian; or Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants. If you look online, you can even find restaurants that are known for serving healthy foods .

2. Order appetizers instead of full course meals. If you are with one friend or many, try ordering a number of small dishes to share. This way you get variety and probably more nutritional value, and at the same time less caloric intake. When you do order appetizers, try to get some veggie options – not just the bread and chicken wings.

3. Ask for grilled instead of pan fried or deep fried. If you are ordering fish, vegetables or chicken, ask the server if it can be grilled without oil or butter, or at least lightly prepared.

4. Order salad, vegetables, soup or fruit, instead of starchy foods as side dishes. This has to be one of the most important tips to healthy dining. Its way to easy to always get the filler sides, such as fires, hash browns and potatoes. Most restaurants serve these side dishes as the norm, so sometimes it will be necessary to make a special request.

5. Order fruit drinks over alcoholic beverages. You can try mixing up the fruit drinks or adding soda for some fun. Or try virgin drinks, which are special alcohol drinks that most restaurants serve – but without the alcohol. Not only will this help with your overall health, but also it will be a safer road if you drove.

For other ideas, check out these sites:

http://www.restaurant.org/dineout/nutrition.cfm

http://uk.dir.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Food_and_Drink/Magazines/