Choosing heart healthy foods doesn’t mean that you can’t eat at restaurants or at social events. By keeping a few guidelines in mind, you can sit back and enjoy eating out!At a Restaurant
•Try to pick restaurants that have low saturated fat, low cholesterol menu choices.
•Before you go, check out the menu and plan what you will eat.
•Start your meal with a broth-based soup. This can help you eat less of your entree.
•Avoid entrees with descriptions that include the words creamy, fried, and buttery.
•Choose menu items that include the words steamed, broiled, poached, or baked.
•If available, choose fat-free salad dressings and ask for them to be placed on the side. This way, you can control your portion.
•Ask for your meal to be prepared without oil, butter, or salt. Don’t be afraid to make such special food preparation requests – it’s your right as a paying customer.
•To control serving sizes, order a side-dish or appetizer-size serving for your entrée. You might also split an entrée with a companion or re-portion an entrée before eating, box the excess, and take it home.
•Substitute steamed veggies for your side.
•When ordering pizza, order vegetable toppings like green peppers, onions, and mushrooms instead of meat or extra cheese. To make your pizza even lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, order it with half the cheese or no cheese.
At a Social Event
•Don’t arrive hungry. Eat an apple or brothy soup before leaving home. Feeling hungry makes it harder to make smart choices.
•Limit alcohol intake to keep your decision-making clear.
•Check out the food at a buffet and plan what you will eat before taking a plate.
•Make your contribution to a potluck dinner tasty but healthy using our heart healthy Cooking Tips. That way, you’re sure to have at least one heart healthy item to choose from.
•Stay away from the area where the food is being served so you won’t be tempted to overeat.
•Don’t be embarrassed to say no to high fat foods. You don’t have to explain, just smile and say, “Thank you, but not for me!”
•Just do your best. If you aren’t as successful at making healthy choices as you would like to be, put away the guilt and make better choices at your next meal.
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