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Everyone likes to eat out — especially after a long week of work it can be a treat! In general when eating out we consume more calories due to the portion sizes and it’s hard to really know what’s in the dishes we are eating. So here are my tips for dining out and keeping it healthy.
1. Browse the menu before you go — this gives you more time so you can check out what is in each dish. And if you are dining out with your family (or shall I say toddler) I barely have time to look at the menu while we are there so it helps alot!
2. Order Grass-fed, Organic or Wild — look for those words on the menu to guide you to the healthier choices. I am often surprised at the selection at some restaurants. If you live in my area, Gecko’s, a popular sports/family restaurant offers bison burgers (I was surprised!)
3. Avoid the breadbasket — if you are at a restaurant that offers this, kindly decline. You can always ask for a substitution like some olives or guacamole with raw veggies.
4. Get the sauce on the side — often the “bad stuff” hides in here! Sauces often contain gluten, sugar, GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup and the like.
5. Split the meal — the portion size at most restaurants is huge. I often order a to-go box right when my meal arrives and box up half of it for the next day.
6. Ask questions when you are ordering — ask the server where the fish comes from, if there are problematic ingredients in the dishes and any other concerns that you have. They should be more than willing to answer.
Try these tips next time you are dining out! We usually try to eat at home as often as we can but it’s nice to meet up with family and friends and enjoy a night on the town. What are some of your favorite restaurants that have healthy choices?
Dr. Joe Henry Rodriguez