January 11, 2012 @ 6:42 PM

 

Dining out has become so common these days that knowing how to choose the healthiest meals is a must for staying healthy.  In one of my previous blog posts “Tips for Healthy Dining Out”, I shared tips on what to avoid when ordering from a menu as well as special requests for the waiter.  Today I’m going to share how to choose balanced meal options when dining at various ethnic restaurants as well as give tips for controlling your portions.

A good point to remember when making your selection is to ensure that the meal is well balanced.  In other words, look for a meal that includes a source of lean protein, a starchy carbohydrate and a fibrous carbohydrate.  Here are some examples of balanced meals: 

Middle Eastern Restaurant:

- Chicken or meat kebab, tabouli salad with whole wheat pita bread.

- Lentil soup and a mixed green salad with grilled chicken strips.

- Dipping raw vegetables in hummus is a great appetizer while you wait for your meal.

Chinese Restaurant:

- Mixed vegetables with chicken or shrimp and steamed brown rice. If brown rice isn’t available, choose steamed white rice instead of fried rice, which is the better alternative.

Japanese Restaurant:

- Sashimi or sushi with brown rice if available, and a side salad. Avoid the fried temptations and the ones decorated with creamy sauces. Plain is the name of the game!

Italian Restaurant:

- Pasta with tomato sauce mixed with chicken or shrimp and a side salad.

- Grilled fish with steamed vegetables and rice (brown if available).

Indian Restaurant:

- Chicken tikka, grilled vegetables, chapati bread (whole wheat if available).

American Restaurant:

- Grilled chicken breast or lean meat filet steak with side salad or vegetables and baked potato.

Eating healthy also means eating sensible portions.  Nowadays, restaurants are ridiculed for serving small portions, therefore you'll have to guauge the right amount of food to eat by listening to your body.  Here are some tips:

Tip #1:  Stop when you are full.  As obvious as this may be, how many times have you ordered dessert when you were already stuffed!

Tip #2:  Don't listen to your parents advice and finish everything on your plate.  When you're full, ask the waiter to take your plate away to avoid the continous nibbles.

Tip #3: Don't order an appetizer.  Main meals are usually enough to fill you up. If you do order an appetizer, then take some of your main meal home for leftovers.

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What do you do to control your portions? Please share your tips and other balanced meal ideas.

Don’t forget to “like” this post and share it with friends who could use some healthy dining advice.