Preparing your meals at home is a great way to eat healthy: you get to choose not only what you eat, but how you cook or dress it. You can make the same smart choices when you’re out, too—all you have to do is look for a few key words to understand how the food is prepared.
Let’s look at some common menu items that are tasty and nutritious at the same time!
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Vegetable soups, salads with dressing on the side and fresh fruit are always good ideas.
Skip the fried foods and instead opt for healthier options, such as:
- Baked, broiled and roasted meats
- Fresh fish
- Whole grain rolls
- Steamed noodles
It’s easy to get weighed down by heavy sauces, so go for these Chinese meals:
- Steamed rice
- Stir fry entrees
- Poached (Jum), roasted (Kow) or BBQ (Shu) dishes
Watch out for carb-heavy meals. Healthy Italian menu options include:
- Grilled steak and chicken
- Italian salad with light dressing
- Light portions of pasta with red sauce or clam sauce
South of the border cuisine can put your calories north of where you’d like them. Try these meals:
- Bean burritos
- Carne asada steak
- Chicken with mole sauce
- Grilled vegetables
Don’t let the spices scare you; Indian food is loaded with a great variety of healthy meals.
- Chicken tikka masala
- Tandoori (clay pot cooked) chicken
- Goat curry
- Vindaloo (spicy) shrimp
- Naan bread
Spicy and oh-so savory, Thai cuisine has many excellent choices. But try to avoid sticky, sugary sauces; Pad Thai sometimes falls into this category.
- Chicken curry with coconut milk
- Grilled lemongrass chicken
- Broth-based soups
- Fresh berries with whipping cream
- Small scoop of vanilla ice cream
Extra Tips and Tricks
Check out online menus beforehand. Healthy, lower-calorie options are usually categorized for easy identification.
Put in a special request to the chef. See if substitutions are available – for example, coconut oil for regular vegetable oil.
Drink water. It’s free in cost AND calories.
Take it home. Many portions are enough for two dinners; once you’ve had enough, ask for a take-home container and enjoy your meal later!