Eating Healthy When Eating Out

Staying in energy balance can be tough when you and your family go out to eat. But you can still eat healthy and enjoy your meal. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the ingredients and how the food was cooked. You also can ask to leave some items out or replace them with healthier choices.

Order Healthy

When you are choosing foods, choose items that have less fat or added sugar. Or ask for a healthier substitution. When you order:

  • Choose foods that are steamed, broiled, baked, roasted, poached, or lightly sautéed or stir-fried
  • Ask for fat-free or low-fat milk instead of cream for coffee or tea
  • Pick food without butter, gravy, or sauces—or ask to have the food without it
  • Choose a lower-calorie salad dressing
  • Ask for salad dressing on the side, and use only some of it
  • Pick drinks without added sugar, like water, fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or diet iced-tea, lemonade, or soda

Eat Healthy

You can make healthy choices throughout your meal, just:

  • Trim visible fat from poultry or meat
  • Do not eat the skin on chicken or turkey
  • Share your meal, or take half home for later
  • Skip dessert or order fruit
  • Split dessert with a friend

Courtesy of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute