In the age of fast food restaurants and ready-made meals, it can be hard to know how to eat healthy when you're on the go. Salad, the top takeout healthy option can be tiring to eat day after day. Also, let's face it: ordering a salad every time you go out to eat can get pretty boring. Here are some tips for how to make healthier choices when eating out:
Tips For Eating Healthy When You're Eating Out
1. Avoid processed foods
When you're eating out, avoid processed foods like fried chicken or fish, French fries, and hamburgers. These foods are high in calories and unhealthy fats, and can increase your risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
2. Choose lean protein
When you do order meat, choose leaner options like grilled chicken or fish, or tofu. These options are lower in calories and unhealthy fats, and will help you to feel fuller longer.
3. Load up on veggies
Make sure to get plenty of vegetables with your meal. Vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients, and can help you to reach your daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. A big veggie salad is a nice, healthier treat!
4. Watch your portion sizes
It's easy to overeat when you're eating out, so be sure to watch your portion sizes. If you're ordering an entrée, consider sharing it with a friend or taking half of it home for leftovers. Perhaps you can order many dishes with friends and eat half portions of them.
5. Skip the sugary drinks
Sugary drinks like soda, juice, and iced tea can add a lot of empty calories to your meal. Instead, choose water or unsweetened tea.
Foods You Should Lessen
It can be tempting to indulge when you're eating out, but some foods are best avoided altogether. Here are some of the worst offenders:
1. Fried foods
Fried chicken, fish, and French fries are high in calories and unhealthy fats, and can increase your risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
2. Processed meats
Hot dogs, bacon, and sausage are all high in saturated fats and sodium, and can increase your risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
Cake, cookies, pie, and ice cream are all high in sugar and calories, and can lead to weight gain if you consume them in large quantities.
Alcohol is high in calories and can contribute to weight gain. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation. There's no harm in getting an occasional alcoholic drink!
Soda is high in sugar and calories, and can contribute to weight gain. Diet sodas may be a better option, but they still contain artificial sweeteners that can have negative health effects.
Foods You Should Eat More
While you should avoid the aforementioned unhealthy foods, there are plenty of healthy diet options to choose from when you're eating out. Here are some of the best:
A salad is a great way to get your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Be sure to watch your portion size, and avoid adding high-calorie toppings like croutons, cheese, and bacon. You can ask for a nice salad dressing instead.
Soup is a great starter or side dish, and can be a good source of protein and vegetables. Avoid cream-based soups, which are high in calories and fat.
Fish is a great source of lean protein, and can be prepared in a variety of healthy ways. Avoid fried fish, and opt for grilled, baked, or broiled options instead.4. Chicken
Chicken is another great source of lean protein. Be sure to avoid fried chicken, and choose grilled, baked, or roasted chicken instead. You can go for a savory grilled chicken sandwich!
Vegetables have fewer calories and high nutrients, making them a great addition to any meal. Be sure to get a variety of colors and types of vegetables to get the most benefit.
Fruit is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Choose fresh fruit instead of juice, which is high in sugar.
7. Whole grains
Whole grains are a good source of fiber and other nutrients. Choose options like brown rice, quinoa, and oats instead of white bread or pasta. Maybe you can even share a bread basket with your friends!
Water is essential for good health, and should be your go-to beverage choice. If you're looking for something with flavor, try adding a slice of lemon or lime when you drink water.
To Wrap Up
It's not always easy to get healthier food when eating out. But there's more than enough food that's healthy, if you know where to look. Numerous low carb options are also available nowadays as healthy choices.
You can also try flavorful food that still boast high nutritional value. You can go for healthy Chinese food, Italian antipasto salads, or even just well drained marinated vegetables from local restaurants. Following these tips can help you to make healthier choices when eating out.
Check out Health Quest 365's Organic Greens 365 if you want a delicious superfood mix of vegetables, fruits, and leafy greens! Happy eating!