8 Strategies To Cut Fat When You Dine Out

Dining out presents challenges for people who want to cut down on their fat intake. Learn and use what you know about lower-fat foods, as well as taking time to read the menu carefully for clues about added fat. You can choose higher fat foods at times, but it must be balanced. By this I mean that you add lower fat choices at other meals. Remember, too, that regular physical activity is important to stay healthy.

Here are some strategies to use:

  • Look for foods that are steamed, poached, broiled, grilled, sautéed or fresh, rather than foods that are fried, creamed, crispy, breaded, or basted with oil or butter.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat from the loin or round, extra lean ground beef, loin and leg cuts of pork, lean ham, Canadian bacon and loin and leg cuts of lamb.
  • Keep the meat portion in check. A 3-ounce portion of meat is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards. Many restaurants serve 6-to 8-ounce portions or even larger servings. Ask for a to-go container if the portions are large and divide the meal to take home for another day’s meal.
  • At all-you-can-eat buffets and salad bars, use a smaller plate and don’t go back for seconds.
  • When ordering, ask for sauce or salad dressing on the side so you can control the amount you pour.
  • Choose salads that are served fresh or plain instead of premixed with mayonnaise, oil or creamy dressings.
  • Choose whole grain bread or roll rather than croissants, muffins, cornbread or biscuits.
  • For dessert, ask for sherbet, sorbet, fruit ice, or low-fat frozen yogurt. You can also split a dessert with your friend or spouse to satisfy your desire for something sweet.

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