In our previous post, we discussed how eating better can make a difference in heart health and how difficult it can be to develop new habits when eating at home. Since you don't just eat in your home, we want to offer tips to help you eat better when dining out as well. Whether you are at a restaurant for fun or because of a work obligation, developing a strategy can keep you from reverting to old habits of ordering unhealthy items off the menu.
Here are some tips from CardioSmart.org:
- When you can, dine in restaurants that offer healthier choices. We know this is not always possible, so pick these kinds of places when you can so you will be less tempted to order unhealthy foods.
- Try to cut down on portion size. There are a number of ways to do this: split a meal with someone else, order an appetizer as your meal, or ask for a to-go box with your meal so you can box up half of your food before you start to eat.
- Balance your meals for the day. If you expect to join your family for a high calorie dinner, then eat lighter meals earlier in the day. We do not advise skipping meals; just go lighter before a big meal or eat a healthy snack beforehand so you don't go overboard.
- Go for menu items that include fruits or vegetables that are prepared in healthy ways. It is possible to have restaurant meals that contain no or very few vegetables or fruit and some dishes that include vegetables and fruit that are fried in batter or in heavy cream sauces. Make a choice to get vegetables and fruits that will offer you the most nutrition.
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