Making healthier choices when eating out (NDPP#10)

Ask for more vegetables. For more fiber, ask for extra veggie toppings on wraps, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. Order sides of leafy green salad or cooked vegetables. Substitute your fries with vegetables.

Go for whole grains. Look for dishes made with whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, barley or oats. Many restaurants now offer whole wheat or whole grain buns, tortilla wraps, pasta or pizza crust upon request.

Keep sodium in check. Choose fewer foods that have been smoked or made with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. Look for “light” versions of these sauces and ask for them to be served on the side. Find out how to spot foods high in sodium.

Get the sauce on the side. Sauces, condiments, dressings and spreads can add fat and sodium to your meal. Ask for these on the side and then use just enough to get some flavor.

Skip sweet drinks. Drink water or low-fat milk instead of sweetened drinks such as soda pop, ice tea or lemonade. Try sparkling water with lemon or lime wedges. If you drink alcohol, limit it to one or two drinks for the day.

Getting informed when eating out

Ask how food is prepared. Order foods that have been steamed, baked, broiled, grilled, or roasted. Fat and calories add up quickly when food is fried, deep-fried or breaded.

Look ahead. Ask for the nutrition information or visit the restaurant’s website ahead of time. Look for healthier options that are higher in protein, fiber and vitamins and lower in calories, fat, sugar and sodium.