Eating out? Go the healthy way
Restaurant food usually has excessive calories, fat, salt and sugar. Those who eat out frequently need to be careful, but an occasional splurge at a restaurant won’t hurt. Here are a few tips that will help you maintain your health while not taking away from the fun of eating out:
Do not eat white bread. Always ask for wholewheat bread
Avoid corn soups, cream, and white sauce-based soups
Request for the sauces, toppings, salad dressings and cheeses to be served separately, so that they can be added as required
Avoid deep fried entrées
It would also be a good idea to have fish, prawns, crabs and lobsters only when grilled, baked, barbecued or steamed. Roast or grilled chicken with steamed vegetables is also a healthy idea. For vegetarians, lightly sautéed baby corn, mushrooms, bean sprouts, steamed rice or noodles would be apt. If you’re at a Chinese restaurant, Chinese greens would be a good dish to order. A salad with olive oil and vinegar as dressing is healthy and light. When at a sizzler joint, ask for a fish or chicken sizzler minus the sauce and French fries. The vegetables served alongside are just fine. Clear vegetable or chicken soup without any white or corn sauces are also healthy.
In an Indian restaurant, you could ask for a tandoori roti with a spinach and mushroom dish or lentils. Skip the extra butter.
Eating out at people’s homes can also be simple. You need not feel awkward about letting your host know in advance about your food preferences.
When travelling for days at a stretch, you just have to observe three basic rules:
Avoid flour-based foods such as rumali roti, naan, and white bread.
Avoid fried foods
Avoid sugar in all forms
Choose fruits for breakfast or have milk with cereal. For lunch, opt for salads such as a sprouts salad or a pasta salad. You could order a soup along with this. You can also have steamed idlis with sambar. Between lunch and dinner, have some fruits instead of snacks. For dinner, it’d be a good idea to order steamed or grilled chicken or fish, with tandoori roti and some vegetables.
If you’re thinking doing all this is going to be a pain, you’re probably right. But you have to follow these steps only if you’re a frequent traveller or if you dine out frequently. As you learn to change your tastes and appreciate healthy food, you will start being healthier too.