Eating out in restaurants is no longer an occasional treat. If you eat out often, it is important to choose wisely. Use these tips to help you make a healthier choice:

  • Use nutrition information when it is available. Choose menu items that are lower in calories and sodium.
  • Order menu items that are baked, broiled, grilled, steamed and poached. Avoid menu items that are breaded, fried and “crispy”.
  • Choose leaner cuts of meat such as sirloin and tenderloin (filet mignon). Rib eye and prime rib are fattier cuts.
  • Choose chicken breast “white meat” over “dark meat”. Remove the skin.
  • Avoid menu items that are “creamy” and described as “rich”.
  • Avoid marinated, pickled and smoked menu items that are often very high in sodium.
  • Ask for dressings and sauces to be served on the side. Use just enough to satisfy your taste buds without drowning them.
  • Share your appetizer, meal and/or dessert. Don’t be afraid to take half home for the next day.
  • Choose menu items that contain lots of vegetables.
  • Substitute French fries with a side salad or veggies.
  • Ask if whole grain options are available, e.g. whole wheat pasta, multigrain bread or crust.
  • Ask if lower-sodium soy sauce is available.
  • Drink water.
  • Ask for lower-fat milk in coffee drinks.

For more information on menu labelling and how to make healthy eating choices when dining out check out Savvy Diner.