Making Eating out healthier

With today’s busy lifestyles, there is not always time to cook for your family. If you are having a take-out night, consider the following tips to reduce the calories and fat and make a healthier meal.

Top 10 Tips for Making Take-Out Healthier

1. Chicken Night: Choose grilled chicken or chicken salad instead of a fried chicken sandwich. Skip the fries and soda; order low-fat or fat-free milk.

2. Mexican Foods: Get vegetarian re-fried or plain black beans. Pick soft tortillas (such as a burrito) instead of fried taco shells. Replace the cheese or sour cream with salsa or guacamole.

3. Pizza: Opt for a thin crust and double the vegetables instead of doubling the cheese. Before you eat, grab a few paper napkins and blot the excess oil off your pizza.

4. Indian Foods: Order the yogurt-based salads, tandoori chicken and fish, lentil or dal dishes. Go for the pappadams instead of thick naan bread. Avoid food cooked in coconut milk, cream or ghee (clarified butter), fried Samosas and thick creamy Korma dishes.

5. Italian Foods: Avoid creamy sauces and pesto on pasta that can add a lot of fat and calories. Instead, try a marinara sauce, pasta primavera or a clam sauce. Consider sharing a pasta entrée and a salad with someone else.

6. Chinese Foods: Ask for wonton or sweet-and-sour soup. Order steamed rice, boiled, steamed, broiled or lightly stir-fried dishes. Pile on the vegetables such as broccoli and bok choy. Try to avoid deep fried dishes, fried rice, egg dishes and salty sauces.

7. Deli Foods: Cut the fat on sandwiches by omitting bacon, mayonnaise, cheese and special sauces. Ask for mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles instead. Try out lean meats (such as turkey breast) on your sandwiches and go for the wheat roll.

8. Japanese Foods: Opt for miso soup and steamed vegetables such as edamame and omega-3- containing fish, such as salmon. Avoid anything “tempura” which indicates “fried.” Sneak in some avocado in your rolls, they add richness and contain unsaturated fats.

9. Burger Night: Order the regular or kid-size portion. Load on the lettuce and tomato and try to skip the cheese. Try a side salad or apple slices instead of fries or onion rings. Go for a low-fat milkshake instead of a soda for an extra calcium boost.

10. On-the-Go Breakfasts: Opt for a whole-wheat high-fiber muffin, bagel or toast (consider eating half if the portion size is huge). Go for the low-fat yogurt or fruit instead of the home fries. Replace the bacon or sausage with ham. Avoid sugar-loaded fruit juices.