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You Can Eat Healthy When Dining Out

By Gary Holdon

It is common knowledge that eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight are difficult tasks when eating at restaurants. Most people eat foods because of cravings and flavors, not as a means of maintaining health. So until more people demand healthy choices, restaurants will of course cater to cravings and flavors more than catering to the health conscious eater. That doesn't mean you can't eat out and find healthy restaurant choices now. The rest of this article gives examples on how you can make the healthiest choices among some of the most popular restaurant types in the United States.

Chinese restaurants are very popular across the country. They're also known as some of the biggest health offenders. They provide all sorts of fried foods and some still use MSG. Common foods that should be avoided by the health conscious at a Chinese restaurant include fried rice, egg rolls, fried wonton, duck-based dishes, egg foo yung, and fried chicken. Also, don't order the buffet unless you have checked to ensure there are enough healthy choices there to fill you up. Among the healthier options you can look for when you are eating at a Chinese restaurant are steamed brown rice, steamed fish, lightly-fried or un-fried tofu, steamed vegetable dishes, chow mein, and most vegetable or seafood soups.

While Italian food tends to be one of the healthier types of restaurant food, it can be a nightmare for those trying to control their weight. Don't even think about eating fried mozzarella sticks, pizza, or lasagna. In fact, leave the cheese off of your Italian dishes altogether and you'll cut a significant amount of fat and calories. Also avoid creamy Alfredo dishes. Watch out for the deserts too. The good news is that Italian noodles often contain complex carbohydrates and some fiber. If they have whole wheat, vegetable, or brown rice noodles take advantage of those. Some other foods you can look for with a clear conscience are thin-crust veggie-lover pizzas, items marinated in tomato sauces, cacciatore, marsala, and a biscotti. Italian restaurants often have an excellent array of vegetarian and lean meat soup and salad options of which you should take advantage.

Mexican food is possibly the most popular food in the south western region of the United States, with some people believing it is American food. Unfortunately, Mexican food tends to be high in sodium and there are almost no exceptions. Also, Mexican food tends to be made with a wide variety of unhealthy meats, cheeses, and sour cream. It is easy to pick out the unhealthy Mexican foods, though. Just avoid the meat dishes and ask for your items without cheese and sour cream. Stay out of the chips, but feel free to spread the salsa liberally on your food. If you don't have issues with salt or blood pressure there is in fact a lot of Mexican food you can eat. Beans of all types are very healthy, though boiled beans are a better choice than refried. Mexican rice is good in moderation. Fajitas are healthy in moderation. There are a wide variety of wonderful salads available. Burritos are typically a good, healthy Mexican choice. You can also order your enchiladas with rice, salsa, or beans inside them instead of cheese or meat inside them.

Indian food is gaining in popularity. The fact that many Indians practice some form of vegetarianism makes it perhaps the easiest type of restaurant for the health conscious eater to enjoy. However, diligently watch out for fried foods. Also, be aware that many Indian noodles and breads are made with coconut oil or coconut milk, which are very fatty. Try to avoid eating too much white rice as well. Eat the very spicy foods in moderation. Most other Indian dishes can be enjoyed freely. They will typically offer a wonderful selection of veggie dishes, nuts, and legumes. Lentils are a particularly healthy option. Best of all, you may indulge in the curry.

Gary Holdon is a writer and internet publisher. Read his popular articles about effective weight loss plans in particular through sustainable, but rapid weight loss programs as well as other fitness articles

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