Healthy Tips for Dining Out

Dr. Katie Takacs, D. C., D.A.B.C.I
Gateway Natural Medicine & Diagnostic Center

Today’s busy people dine out far more frequently than in years past. The following suggestions can result in a healthier, and occasionally, even a more economical experience:

  • Pass on the bread! If you’re hungry before the entree arrives, forego the extra calories by ordering a salad.
  • Request olive oil and vinegar for your salad on the side. Restaurant salad dressings are often loaded with sugar, made with lower quality oil than you would use at home, and applied too generously.
  • Say no to “fried!” If your your favorite dish comes breaded, ask if they will grill it instead. This will make the dish far healthier and often, just as tasty! Or if necessary, choose another entree.
  • Request sauces on the side. Most often, you can cut calories by controlling how much sauce you add to your entree — and you may wind up tasting more of the varied flavors too.
  • Scratch the fries and request veggies or a side salad — you’ll save hundreds of calories!
  • Drink water to replace sweetened drinks like tea or soda. This prevents bloating while still making you feel full sooner and will save you money.
  • Split your meal in half before you take the first bite! Especially in posh restaurants where the portions are often sizable, have the courage to request a take-out container and a carry bag ahead of time (often, you’ll have to ask twice). Pack up half of it before you take the first bite, and place the container in a bag on the floor, perhaps by your bag. If you stick to your guns, you will have a delicious meal the next day. Or pay the extra plate charge and split the entree with a friend — often, they will do that for you in the kitchen — a $3 extra plate charge could save you $30 for a second entree.
  • Review the menu online ahead of time so that you know what changes you can make before you get to the restaurant. Be prepared!
  • Announce allergies/sensitivities when ordering. You don’t want to get to the bottom of the entree salad and find pine nuts when you are deathly allergic to them. Restaurants must work with you if they want to stay in business as some allergies are life-threatening. Just advise your waiter ahead of time when ordering and if he’s not sure what’s in a dish — for your safety, have him check with the chef.

You work hard — enjoy yourself! Choose healthier options while still having fun. Discuss your dietary challenges with those around you and you’ll find new ways to make your dining out even healthier!

Disclaimer: Information on this page is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.

Dr. Katie Takacs is the clinical director of Women’s Health at Gateway Natural Medicine and Diagnostic Center in Berthoud, CO. She believes that through education she can prepare patients to live their healthiest lives. Dr. Katie believes the moment an individual understands how the body works, they can take back control of their health and future.

Have any questions about your healthcare options? Reach out to [email protected].

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