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How to eat healthy when eating out in Grand Rapids

Eating out on a Friday evening with family and friends is one of the activities I most look forward to after a long week at work. I enjoy walking through Downtown Grand Rapids, before dinner and enjoying a relaxing stroll along Grand River after dinner.

However, if you are like me, you always have a little sense of stress the food consumed at a restaurant isn’t always as healthy as homemade food. However, I don’t worry about that any longer. The reason is I have done some research on healthy eating in restaurants.

Below are the results of my own research and also information from a free guide called The Guide to Eating Healthy in Restaurants.

What I learned is just because you are eating out doesn’t mean you have to give up on your diet. So now matter what of restaurant you eating including Chinese, Italian, Mexican or even fast food, check out these healthy eating tips.

To get started, I’ve put together a basic guide to follow, no matter the type of restaurant, when you at a social event, event or restaurant.

  • First, also go for the lower-fat foods like the grilled or baked chicken or broiled fish. Also, ask that any of the toppings including sauces to be placed on the side. This way you can decide exactly how much of the sauces or toppings you want to use.
  • Second, when at weddings or social gatherings, try to avoid any finger food with toothpicks in them. These are usually very high in fat. Also, fill your plate with fresh veggies and fruit.
  • Third, keep in mind that alcohol consumption increases your desire for foods. If you’re enjoying some drinks while out, it’s very easy to order an additional appetizer to “fight of the munchies” So why not switch to lower calorie wine spritzers or light beer. There are few calories in these drinks so if you do “fall off the wagon” and order extra appetizer’s these less calorie drinks with help to reduce you overall calorie consumption.
  • Finally, if you food arrives not to your preparation request, send it back to the kitchen.

Making Healthy Choices in Mexican Restaurants:

The best rule of thumb for enjoying Mexican food is to avoid the deep fried foods like tortilla chips, chimichangas, beef taco salad in fried shell and refried beans. Instead opt for the baked tortilla chips, soft taco shells and chicken or beef fajitas.

Making Healthy Choices in Chinese Restaurants:

The brighter and more colorful the dish is the healthier it is for you. Choose the stir-fried foods rather than the deep-fried ones. Select the main dishes that have a lot of vegetables and side dishes like vegetable wonton soup. Also, go for the brown rice, rather than the fried rice. The reason is the brown rice has more fiber and fewer calories than the fried rice. Finally, only eat at restaurants that do not use MSG and go light on the soy sauce.

Making Healthy Choices in Italian Restaurants

The thinner the pasta, the better is it for you. Keep in mind that when eating in an Italian restaurant go for the pastas like linguini and angel hair. The reason is they are lower in fat than the wider and thicker pasta.
Also, opt-out of the heavy alfredo sauces and enjoy the marinara sauces or just the tomato sauce. While seafood-based dishes are an excellent choice, but don’t add the heavy white sauces, simply enjoy a little oil olive to provide flavor and moisture to the dish. Finally, if pizza is your thing, go for a try a vegetable-only pizza. This is simply a cheese-less pizza that has the crust of the pizza, the tomato sauce and filled high with veggies like onions, peppers and mushroom. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese for additional flavoring.

Making Healthy Choices When Eating Fast Food:

Every once in a while when I am traveling I stop at any of the readily available fast food restaurants. However, you can still eat healthy at a fast food restaurant, too.

The first type of food you want to order is either a salad or a baked potato. However, don’t load either of them up with toppings including dressing, butter or sour cream. Also, check out these ideas for several types of restaurants. When eating in a Mexican restaurant go for the bean burrito or soft taco. Enjoy a grilled chicken salad while in an Italian restaurant and finally, if you have a burger craving, skip the mayo. Instead load up your burger with pickles, lettuce, onions, ketchup and mustard.

Also, try to avoid the mashed potatoes, fried chicken, anything fried like onion rings, fries and fish. You may also want to skip ordering cheese on your burger and breakfast sausage.

Visit to learn more about healthy eating

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