Eat Healthy

Tips for Eating Smart
Out on the Town

Ask Questions

  • Ask about preparation methods
  • Ask if sauces or gravies are served on the side
  • Ask how large portions are
  • Ask if baked and broiled items are basted while they cook
  • Ask if vegetables are cooked in butter or margarine
  • Ask about substituting a high-fat, high-calorie item with something that is lower in fat and calories

Entrées and Side Dishes

  • When ordering grilled fish or vegetables, ask that the food either be grilled without butter or oil, or prepared "light," with little oil or butter.
  • When ordering pasta dishes, look for tomato-based sauces rather than cream-based sauces. Tomato-based sauces are much lower in fat and calories. In addition, the tomato sauce (or marinara sauce) can count as a vegetable!
  • Ask for salsa with a baked potato instead of sour cream, butter, cheese, or bacon. Salsa is very low in calories and a healthy alternative with a lot of spice.
  • Order sandwiches with mustard rather than mayonnaise or "special sauce." Mustard adds flavor with virtually no calories.
  • 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.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for special low-calorie or low-fat preparation of a menu item. The restaurant industry is one of hospitality and customer choice.
  • Choose entrĂ©es with fruits and vegetables as key ingredients. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of dietary fiber as well as of many vitamins and minerals.
  • Enjoy foods that are flavored with fresh herbs rather than fats such as oil and butter. Herbs add a unique flavor to any dish!
  • Choose foods made with whole grains. Examples include whole-wheat bread and dishes made with brown rice.
  • Order steamed vegetables as a side dish.
  • If you have a choice of side dishes, opt for baked potato or steamed vegetables rather than french fries. Even if choices are not listed, ask your server to substitute vegetables or a baked potato for french fries.


  • Don't hesitate to take leftovers home. It is often wise to divide large portions before you start eating. Eat one half and take the other half home. Splitting food before you start eating makes it easier to avoid overeating.
  • Take half of your meal home. The second half can serve as a second meal. (Two meals for the price of one: What a deal!)

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