Eat­ing out? Go the healthy way

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - An­jali Muk­er­jee, nu­tri­tion­ist

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

Avoid desserts

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.

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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