Healthier Options for Eating out

Most people enjoy the convenience and options of eating out for meals, but it can be difficult to keep a healthy diet when one is eating out often. Most Americans eat out on average five days a week. Not only can this be costly, but it can lead to a poor diet. Read on to learn more about making smarter choices when eating out and rethinking how to eat out.

Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems.

Why is it essential:
  • Serving sizes are larger and contain more calories. Ask for the nutrition information to see just how many calories are in the meal. Many meals have the recommended daily amount in just one meal.
  • There is hidden salt, sugar, and grease when cooking meals.
  • Studies show a link between frequent eating out and increased risk for weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
What to do when eating out:
  • Make a conscious effort to meal plan ahead of time so eating out doesn’t become the default choice
  • Try to avoid the fast-food traps. Those can often to the quickest options but serve up the most calorie-dense foods.
  • Choose more plant-based foods, smaller portions of meat, and fried foods.
  • Look for labels on restaurants marked for “smarter choice” or “smaller portion sized”. These often will lead to fewer calories and fried options.
  • Look for whole grains and steer clear of fried foods.

It’s okay to enjoy eating out, but perhaps examine how often the family eats out, and try to limit the amount of times. If it doesn’t work out to limit the number of days, look toward what can be down in the restaurant to make healthier choices.

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