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General Guide to Healthy Ethnic Dining Out

Bistecca Ristorante Houston (24)
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The Healthy Way to eat out.
The do’s and dont’s for your next ethnic meal. Covering foods fromm Chinese, French, Mexican, and Greek… Don’t leave home without it.
Chinese:
Look for: stir-fry or steamed dishes with lots of vegetables, steamed rice (brown if possible over white), poached fish, and hot and sour soups
Avoid: fatty spareribs, fried wontons, egg rolls, shrimp toast and fried rice
French:
Look for: steamed shellfish, roasted poultry, salad with dressing on the side, and sauces with a wine or tomato base
Avoid: high-fat sauces (bchamel, hollandaise, béarnaise), croissants, pate, and rich pastries
Greek:
Look for: plaki (fish cooked with tomatoes, onions and garlic) and kabobs (broiled on a spit with vegetables)
Avoid: dishes with large amounts of butter or oil and baklava
Italian:
Look for: marinara, marsala, clam sauce and past primavera with vegetables and a small amount of oil. Simply prepared fish and chicken dishes are also good choices
Avoid: pasta stuffed with cheese or fatty meat and dishes with greasy or butter sauces
Japanese:
Look for: steamed rice, soba or udon noodles, yaki sobra (stir-fried noodles), shumai (steamed dumplings), tofu, sukiyaki, kayaku goban (vegetables and rice)
Avoid: shrimp or vegetable tempura, chicken katsu, tonkatsu (fried pork), shrimp agemono and fried tofu
Mexican:
Look for: fish, shrimp, and chicken with salsa made of tomato, chilies and onion. Order corn or flour tortillas as long as they are not deep fat fried.
Avoid: dishes with large amounts of cheese, sour cream, guacamole and refried beans cooked in lard.
Americans eat out now more than ever and this is likely not to change. Here are some tips in eating out:
Don’t skip a meal on the day you are going out to eat
Eat a light snack (e.g. an apple, an orange, or a slice of low fat cheese) an hour or so before the meal thus avoiding overeating
Choose a restaurant that offers a variety of food including low fat options
Order more plant based foods – pick salads and deserts that emphasize fruits or vegetables; look for whole-grain pasta, bread, rice, and cereal
Order baked, not fried; grilled, not greasy
Ask about substitutions of lower fat, lower carbohydrate food as side dishes
Taste your food before adding salt, butter, sauces, or dressings
Order dressings on the side of your salads
Substitute healthier condiments such as mustard for mayonnaise, or pepper or lemon juice instead of salt
Resist the desire to “supersize” your meals
Make the salad your fist course with plenty of veggies and fruit
Eat slowly
Order food that requires work such as crab legs
Order water, sparkling water or mineral water with a twist of lemon – it’s filling and has no calories (most diets insist on at least 8 glasses of water per day for a reason! )
Finish the main disk before you think about ordering desert
For dessert consider lower-fat, lower-calorie options such as fresh fruit, angel food cake or sherbet