How to choose healthier takeout
If you’re growing weary preparing three meals a day, seven days a week, spice up the monotony and get takeout from a local restaurant. It supports their business and it gives you a break.
Lisa Money, registered dietitian nutritionist with Apex Athletic Performance, offered some suggestions on how to choose healthier options.
- Don’t overindulge. Dietary patterns make the most difference to your health, so aim for limiting takeout meals to two meals per week. Although restaurant food tastes great, it normally contains higher calories, saturated fat and sodium than meals cooked at home. Fat and sodium increase inflammation and blood pressure, which works against a person’s immune system.
- Balance. On days that you choose to eat out, try balancing your fat and sodium intake by including fresh fruit, lean meats, salads and whole grains in your other meals instead of processed foods.
- Drink more water. If you have high blood pressure and you consume a high salt meal while eating out, try increasing your water intake to help flush sodium from your kidneys. Choose seltzer, water or unsweetened tea with meals instead of sugar-sweetened beverages that also increase inflammation.
- Stick to foods that are found in Mediterranean cuisine. It includes mainly whole foods and can decrease inflammation while providing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and antioxidants.
Here are examples of how to pick healthier foods while eating out:
Sandwich shops – Avoid processed meats like salami and pastrami, and pick turkey or roast beef on rye or whole wheat bread.
Pizza places – Choose thin crust pizza and add a salad with water or unsweetened tea.
Smoothie shops – Get a berry smoothie for lunch and add flax seed to get your daily dose of omega-3s.
Greek or Mediterranean restaurants – Choose salmon or chicken, hummus, grape leaves, and the Greek salad.
Steak houses – Pick a petite sirloin, baked potato and salad or grilled or blackened seafood
Fast food – Choose either a fried sandwich or French fries, but not both. Instead, go for cut fruit, a side salad or baked potato. Pick child sized options to lower fat and calories, if allowed.
Sweets – Choose dark chocolate or carrot cake recipes and small shakes
Healthy eating patterns last for a lifetime. Choose how you want to take charge of your health without letting outside influences derail your habits.