Eating out smartly
If you are in the habit of eating out, the variety of temptations available on order can frustrate your efforts to maintain a balanced weight. So, how do you make healthy choices while eating out? To make your job easier we provide you some smart options based on some popular cuisines.
While ordering an Indian meal, avoid creamy curries such as korma. Instead pick the tangy,
tomato-based ones such as jalfrezi, tikka or balti. Also go in for whole wheat rotis instead of naan; they`re high on fibre, and low on fat. Avoid filling them up with scoops of butter. While choosing non-vegetarian dish, select chicken instead of lamb, and balance your meal with plenty of vegetables.
Select pasta, instead of pizza, with a tomato-based sauce. As a general rule, the more vegetables in your meal, the better it is for you. Fish, especially shrimp, is a good option for a tasty, low-fat dish. Italian desserts can be packed with fat and sugar though, so a sorbet may be your best bet.
Go for vegetable dishes with plain boiled rice; avoid the egg fried rice! Fish or chicken dishes are also fine but avoid pork balls or sweet and sour sauce. Seaweed can be another good option, but Chinese restaurants often serve it deep-fried, in which case it is best avoided.
While ordering Mexican, chilli, with beans and tomatoes, is a good option. Guacamole made with mashed avocados is another option, as a rule of thumb you must have it in moderation because avocados, though good for you, are also high in calories. Chicken or prawn fajitas are another option if you share the meal. Avoid nachos, but if you really crave them, have plain tortilla chips with salsa instead. Also steer clear of sour cream and burritos or anything else deep-fried.
These are some general tips to help you while ordering:
Select light starters: While ordering starters, choose those that use fruits and vegetables as key ingredients; these will contain vitamins and minerals and will also be a good source of dietary fibre. Avoid vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that are prepared using cheese, butter and other more calorie-rich ingredients.
Include a soup: Soups are great appetizers that are also low in calories. Including a soup in your meal can fill you up. Also, remember to choose broth-based soups; avoid cream-based soups because they are higher on calories.
Order dishes with less oil: Dishes which require frying will invariably be oily. Instead, look for dishes on the menu that are baked, grilled, dry-sauteed, broiled, poached or steamed, which usually do not require fatty ingredients to prepare.
Select dishes with spices and herbs: Apart from the nutritional benefits of herbs and spices, these items are more likely to have lower fat and sodium content.
Choose a healthy sauce: When selecting a sauce to go along with your meal such as pasta, avoid cream-based ones. Sauces such as tomato and marinara are not only lower in fat but also quite nutritious.
Choose healthy accompaniments: Choose healthy items made with whole grains such as whole-wheat bread and pasta, tortillas, or brown rice.
Stock up on salads: A salad is typically a good choice while dinging out. Remain aware however that dressings and toppings like cheese and croutons can add to the calories.
Go for seafood: In non-vegetarian meals, choose fish or seafood over meat. But remember to order dishes that are baked, broiled, sauteed, poached, steamed or grilled rather than fried. If you have meat, choose leaner cuts such as skinless chicken breasts.
Order a light dessert: If you crave dessert, opt for something that is lower in calories and fat, like sorbet, fresh berries or fruit. Sharing dessert is another way to enjoy without overdoing it.