7 Tips for Heart-Healthy Eating Out – Harvard

Although this blog has over 3,000 posts, I wrote about the difficulty of eating out in my very first one About Me. Now comes Harvard Healthbeat with 7 Tips for Heart-Healthy Eating Away From Home.

The report offered some excellent suggestions.

“Curb portions. For two people, consider ordering one salad, one appetizer, and one entrée — that will nearly always provide enough food for both of you. When ordering individual meals, set aside some of what is on your plate to bring home for lunch or another dinner.”

You host may offer a sumptuous spread, but you have control over how much you choose to eat.

You host may offer a sumptuous spread, but you have control over how much you choose to put on your plate.

Portion size is critical.

” Resist refined carbohydrates. Just as you would at home, go for whole grains and limit white bread, white rice, and other highly processed starches. If the breadbasket is hard to resist, ask your waitperson to remove it from the table.”

This isn’t rocket science, just logic.

“Make smart, colorful choices at the salad bar. Load your plate with plenty of colorful vegetables, fruits, and small amounts of lean protein. Skip the creamy and ranch dressings. Low-fat and fat-free dressings often contain a lot of sugar, so use healthy oils with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice instead.”

Again, this isn’t the first time we have heard about the health value of colorful fruits and vegetables.

“Choose dishes that are grilled, roasted, steamed, or sautéed. This is an easy way to cut down on calories and avoid heart-unfriendly trans fats.

“Ask for healthier side dishes. Don’t be afraid to request a salad, vegetables, or fruit instead of starchy side dishes.”

It just takes a little intelligence and self-restraint to surf the shoals of dining out.

“Take the opportunity to enjoy some fish. When you eat out, take advantage of having an expert chef doing the cooking and order fish or seafood.”

Probably the less red meat you consume, the better. I know I find myself eating less than one burger a month these days.

“Share desserts. If you decide to have dessert, share it with your dining companion(s). Don’t ignore heart-healthy choices, such as fresh fruit.”

You don’t have to go out in a blaze of whipped cream and pie. A little restraint goes a long way. It also gives you a chance to go home and not have that bloated feeling you get from heavy sweet baked desserts after a meal.

The report concludes as follows: “For more information on how diet affects your heart health, and ways to develop a healthy eating plan that’s good for your heart, buy Healthy Eating for a Healthy Heart.

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Filed under calories, fish, healthy eating, healthy living, heart, portion control, portion size, red meats

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