Even in today’s world of convenience foods, fast foods and dining out, it’s possible to choose foods that fit into your healthy diet, if you follow some simple guidelines:

  • Keep healthful snack foods on hand, like graham crackers, pretzels, fruit, carrot sticks, and pudding.
  • Limit foods that you can’t resist. Instead of baking a batch of cookies that you’ll overindulge on, treat yourself to a fresh bakery cookie periodically.
  • Separate eating from other activities. Don’t graze while doing other things like watching TV or reading a book.
  • Plan your meals and snacks. If there are times when you’re likely to overeat, plan an activity for those times.
  • Before going to parties, eat a light, healthy snack and drink plenty of water. Select vegetables and fruits, and limit cheeses, nuts, and sausages. Socialize away from the snack table.
  • Choose entrees that are prepared without gravy, glazes, breading, cream sauce or au gratin.
  • Look for items that have been baked, steamed, roasted or charbroiled. Entrees served in marinara or tomato sauce are also good choices.
  • Choose meats and vegetables that have not been fried. Ask for a baked potato instead of french fries.
  • Watch out for those fat-laden salad dressings. Regular salad dressing is the source of most of the fat in the diets of many women. Order fat-free dressing, or have your dressing served on the side and use sparingly.
  • Choose fruit for dessert.
  • You may want to order a la carte instead of a multi-course dinner to keep amounts of food smaller.

Following these tips, however, doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods. Just remember to eat them in moderation. Have smaller servings, or choose them less often. And if you choose to splurge every once and a while, enjoy! When you build your diet on the Food Pyramid, an occasional indulgence is not a problem.

Healthy Tips for Eating Out

WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED?
How is the food prepared?
How big is the entree?
What comes on it?
What substitutions can be made?

AVOID…
Fried
Sauteed
Creamed
Breaded
Cheese
Sauces
Doubles

ASK FOR…
Dressing, butter, sour cream on the side
Unsweetened iced tea
Lowfat milk for your coffee
Baked, roasted, steamed, boiled, poached, grilled entrees
Whole grain breads.

DELICATESSEN DINING…
Hold the mayo
Choose lean cut meats
Hold the chips
Lowfat or no cheese

FAST FOOD…
Add a salad
Choose charbroiled or roasted sandwiches
Avoid the fries
Choose lower fat options
Order water
Have it your way