Diet doesn’t have to be a four-letter word — or even in your vocabulary — when you’re making smarter choices about what you eat. We found tricks that make eating out easier on your waistline without sacrificing taste (or fun!).
Restaurants, airports, office cafeterias and house parties aren’t usually a mecca of good nutrition. Fortunately, many have options limiting their negative impact.
Try these guidelines from NYC-based rock-and-roll doctor, Dr. Gabrielle Francis:
- Look for restaurants that offer vegetarian, home-cooked, farm-to-table or locally grown ingredients or choose family-run ethnic spots.
- If organic isn’t on the menu, order entrees made with lamb, wild-caught fish, vegetables or goat or sheep dairy.
- Limit yourself to 1 cup of cooked rice, no matter what type of fare or restaurant.
- For reduced or no gluten, look for Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Mexican/South American or Middle Eastern meals and go easy on the bread.
- Choose healthier fast food options, such as vegetable burritos, fish tacos, mushroom quesadillas, falafel sandwiches/platters, lamb gyros, shish-kebobs, wraps, soups, quiches, yogurt with toppings, or salads with vegetables and protein.
- At Asian establishments, ask for no MSG, avoid fried items, and get dishes loaded with veggies (tempura doesn’t count!).
- At the cantina, switch from refried to black beans, avoid sour cream and cheese, choose fish over chicken or beef, add veggies to burritos and tacos, and pass on corn chips or have only a few (I know, yeah right!) unless they’re blue corn.
- In Italian places, start with the vegetable antipasti, go gluten-free with risotto or entrees with veggies and meat or fish, or choose low-gluten items like gnocchi or eggplant parmigiana.
- At burger joints, skip the bun (or use lettuce, a tortilla or pita instead), bag the fries for a salad, and choose organic meats, heritage meats or wild game if possible
- When eating Greek or Lebanese, load up on healthy appetizers — think olives, olive oil, hummus, falafel, baba ganoush, yogurt dips, vegetables stuffed with nuts or rice, wild fish or salads like tabouli, fattoush or Greek.
- Switch soda for coconut water, glass-bottled iced tea or water, spritzers with soda water and juice, Italian sodas, natural sodas sweetened with stevia or fruit juice, Emergen-C in cold water, freshly made iced teas or iced coffees, fruit juices diluted in water at a 1:3 ratio.
- If it’s impossible to nix the bread basket, eat the yummy crust with olive oil.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.