Follow Dining Out Options To Maintain Weight Control

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  3/15/2006 3:40:34 AM

News You Can Use For March 2006

You can eat healthy and watch your weight when dining out if you know how. Most restaurants are glad to prepare food the way you want it. You can even call ahead to make sure that the restaurant can accommodate your special requests.

LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames offers a number of tips for healthy dining out.

– Choose restaurants that provide options, such as a salad bar, low-fat foods, broiled and vegetarian foods.

– Look for items on the menu that are baked, grilled, dry-sautéed, broiled, poached or steamed. These cooking techniques use less fat in the food preparation and are generally lower in calories.

– Ask for dishes to be made without high-fat additions, such as cream sauces, gravies and butter.

– Select poultry, fish or meat that is broiled, baked, steamed or poached rather than fried.

– Look for vegetables seasoned with herbs or spices rather than butter, sour cream or cheese.

– Order salad dressings and other sauces on the side.

– Ask your server to substitute steamed vegetables or a baked potato for items such as french fries or pasta or rice and potatoes prepared with rich sauces.

– Enjoy foods flavored with fresh herbs rather than fats such as oil and butter.

– Top your potato with plain yogurt and chives or salsa instead of sour cream, butter, cheese or bacon.

– Choose pasta with marinara sauce rather than alfredo.

– Order two appetizers or an appetizer and a salad as your meal.

– Make a meal of soup and salad.

– Choose foods made with whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread and dishes made with brown rice.

– Choose entrees with fruits and vegetables as key ingredients.

– Choose lean deli meats like fresh turkey or lean roast beef instead of higher fat cuts like salami or bologna.

– At fast food restaurants, choose chicken and lean roast beef sandwiches or lean plain hamburgers, salads with low-fat salad dressing, low-fat milk and low-fat frozen yogurt. Pizza topped with vegetables is another good choice.

– Go for low-fat sandwich toppings like lettuce, tomato, onions and condiments like ketchup, mustard or relish.

– Order a low-fat dessert like fresh berries, sorbet or low-fat frozen yogurt.

– Share a dessert with a friend or several friends.

– Instead of dessert, enjoy a flavored coffee.

– Control serving sizes by asking for a small serving, sharing a dish or taking some home.

– Take half of your meal home, and eat it later as a second meal.

– Stop eating when you are full; listen to the cues your body gives you.

For related nutrition information, click on the Family and Home link on the LSU AgCenter home page, at


On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: 

Source: Beth Reames (225) 578-3929, or

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