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What tips do you have for making eating out a healthier experience? — D. Daumit, DC

Anne Coulston


When people are looking for a "healthier" experience they usually mean a meal that's lower in fat or calories. That's a good goal because it's easy to overeat when someone else is doing the cooking.
To make eating out a little kinder to your waistline and heart remember these tips:

1. Focus on dishes that feature vegetables, whole grains or fruits, as the main ingredient.
2. Look for key words on the menu such as poached, broiled or roasted - these preparations are often lower in fat.
3. Substitute one or two "first course" dishes for the main course. Often the first courses or appetizers have the most vegetables and you can try a variety of tastes without the huge portions.
4. Avoid deep-fried items and menu items with high-fat cream or butter sauces.
5. Share with a friend if you want to be a little decadent and try that chocolate cheesecake or the apple tart.

For more advice and helpful tips, check out Dine Out Smart.

About Anne Coulston

Ann M. Coulston, M.S.,R.D., graduated from Cornell University with a master's degree in nutritional science and is a former research dietitian at Stanford University Medical Center, and a past president of both the American Dietetic Association (1998-1999) and the California Dietetic Association. Ann specializes in clinical research on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and collaborates with medical scientists in research on diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

She has been recognized for excellence in the practice of research and clinical nutrition by the American Dietetic Association Foundation, and is the recipient of the American Dietetic Association's Medallion award for leadership. The California Dietetic Association has awarded her the Distinguished Service and Outstanding Member awards.

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