Dining Out

How to Choose!



Most bread and breadsticks are low in calories and low in fat. The calories add up when you add butter, margarine, or olive oil to the bread. Also, eating a lot of bread in addition to your meal will fill you up with extra unwanted calories and not leave enough room for fruits and vegetables.

salmon appetizer


  • Steamed seafood
  • Shrimp* cocktail (limit cocktail sauce – it’s high in sodium)
  • Melons or fresh fruit
  • Bean soups
  • Salad with reduced fat dressing (or add lemon juice or vinegar)
  • *If you are on a cholesterol-lowering diet, eat shrimp and other shellfish in moderation.



  • Poultry, fish, shellfish and vegetable dishes are healthy choices
  • Spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, or paprika
  • Reduced-fat or fat-free salad dressing
  • Mustard
  • Catsup
  • Fat-free or reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • Fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream
  • Fat-free or reduced-fat yogurt
  • Reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Salsa
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Vinegar
  • Horseradish
  • Fresh ginger
  • Sprinkle of butter flavor (not made with real butter)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Sprinkle of parmesan cheese (stronger flavor than most cheese)
  • Sodium-free salt substitute
  • Jelly or fruit preserves on toast or bagels


Salad/Salad Bars

  • Fresh greens, lettuce and spinach
  • Fresh vegetables – tomato, mushroom, carrots, cucumber, peppers, onion, radishes, and broccoli
  • Beans, chick peas and kidney beans
  • Skip the nonvegetable choices: deli meats, bacon, egg, cheese, croutons
  • Choose lower-calorie, reduced-fat or fat-free dressing, lemon juice, or vinegar

*Side Dishes

  • Plain vegetables and starches (rice, potato, noodles) make good additions to meals and can also be combined for a lower-calorie alternative to higher-calorie entrees
  • Ask for side dishes without butter or margarine
  • Ask for mustard, salsa or low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream or butter



  • Fresh fruit
  • Nonfat frozen yogurt
  • Sherbet or fruit sorbet (these are usually fat free, but check the calorie content)
  • Try sharing a dessert
  • Ask for low-fat milk for your coffee (instead of cream or half-’n-half )

Tips for Healthy Multicultural Dining

If you’re dining out or bringing in, it is easy to find healthy foods. Knowing about American food terms, as well as other ethnic cuisines can help make your dining experience healthy and enjoyable! The following list includes healthy food choices (lower in calories and fat) and terms to look for when making your selection.


Choose more often…
  • Steamed
  • Jum (poached)
  • Chu (boiled)
  • Kow (roasted)
  • Shu (barbecued)

Hoison sauce with assorted Chinese vegetables:

broccoli, mushroom, onion, cabbage, snow peas, scallions, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, asparagus

  • Oyster sauce (made from seafood)
  • Lightly stir-fried in mild sauce
  • Cooked in light wine sauce
  • Hot and spicy tomato sauce
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Hot mustard sauce
  • Reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Dishes without MSG added
  • Garnished with spinach or broccoli
  • Fresh fish filets, shrimp, scallops
  • Chicken, without skin
  • Lean beef
  • Bean curd (tofu)
  • Moo Shu vegetable, chicken or shrimp
  • Steamed rice
  • Lychee fruit


Choose more often…
  • Dinner salad with vinegar or lemon juice dressing (or other reduced fat dressing)
  • Crusty bread without butter
  • Fresh fish, shrimp, scallops, steamed mussels (without sauces)
  • Chicken breast, without skin
  • Rice and noodles without cream or added butter or other fat
  • Fresh fruit for dessert


Choose more often…
  • Lightly sautéed with onions
  • Shallots
  • Peppers and mushrooms
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Red sauces – spicy marinara sauce (arrabiata), marinara sauce or cacciatore
  • Light red sauce or light red or white wine
  • Light mushroom sauce
  • Red clam sauce
  • Primavera (no cream sauce)
  • Lemon sauce
  • Capers
  • Herbs and spices – garlic and oregano
  • Crushed tomatoes and spices
  • Florentine (spinach)
  • Grilled (often fish or vegetables)
  • Piccata (lemon)
  • Manzanne (eggplant)

Middle Eastern

Choose more often…
  • Lemon dressing, lemon juice
  • Blended or seasoned with Middle Eastern spices
  • Herbs and spices
  • Mashed chickpeas
  • Fava beans
  • Smoked eggplant
  • With tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers
  • Spiced ground meat
  • Special garlic sauce
  • Basted with tomato sauce
  • Garlic
  • Chopped parsley and/or onion
  • Couscous (grain)
  • Rice or bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Stuffed with rice and imported spices
  • Grilled on a skewer
  • Marinated and barbecued
  • Baked
  • Charbroiled or charcoal broiled
  • Fresh fruit


Choose more often…
  • House salad with fresh ginger and cellophane (clear rice) noodles
  • Rice
  • Nabemono
  • Chicken, fish or shrimp teriyaki, broiled in sauce
  • Menrui or soba noodles, often used in soups
  • Yakimono (broiled)
  • Tofu or bean curd
  • Grilled vegetables


Choose more often…
  • Tikka (pan roasted)
  • Cooked with or marinated in yogurt
  • Cooked with green vegetables, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms with spinach (saag)
  • Bakes leavened bread
  • Masala
  • Tandoori
  • Paneer
  • Cooked with curry, marinated in spices
  • Lentils, chick beans, garbanzo beans, beans
  • Garnished with dried fruits
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo) and potatoes
  • Basmati rice (pullao)
  • Matta (peas)
  • Chicken or shrimp kebab
  • Matta (peas)
  • Chicken or shrimp kebab


Choose more often…
  • Shredded spicy chicken
  • Rice and black beans
  • Rice
  • Ceviche (fish marinated in lime juice and mixed with spices)
  • Served with salsa (hot red tomato sauce)
  • Served with salsa verde (green chili sauce)
  • Covered with enchilada sauce
  • Topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and onions
  • Served with or wrapped in a corn or wheat four (soft) tortilla
  • Grilled
  • Marinated
  • Picante sauce
  • Simmered with chili vegetarian tomato sauce


Choose more often…
  • Barbecued, sauteed, broiled, boiled, or steamed, braised, marinated
  • Charbroiled
  • Basil sauce, basil or sweet basil leaves
  • Lime sauce or lime juice
  • Chili sauce or crushed dried chili flakes
  • Thai spices
  • Served in hollowed-out pineapple
  • Fish sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Napa, bamboo shoots, black mushrooms, ginger, garlic
  • Bed or mixed vegetables
  • Scallions, onions

Steak House

Choose more often…
  • Lean broiled beef (no more than 6 ounces) – London broil, filet mignon, round and flank steaks
  • Baked potato without added butter, margarine or sour cream. Try low-fat yogurt or mustard
  • Green salad with reduced fat dressing
  • Steamed vegetables without added butter or margarine. Try lemon juice and herbs.
  • Seafood dishes (usually indicated as “surf” on menus)

Fast Food

Choose more often…
  • Grilled chicken breast sandwich without mayonnaise
  • Single hamburger without cheese
  • Grilled chicken salad with reduced-fat dressing
  • Garden salad with reduced-fat dressing
  • Low-fat or nonfat yogurt
  • Fat-free muffin
  • Cereal with low-fat milk

Deli/Sandwich Shop

Choose more often…
  • Fresh sliced vegetables in pita bread with low-fat dressing, yogurt or mustard
  • Cup of bean soup (lentil, minestrone)
  • Turkey breast sandwich with mustard, lettuce, tomato
  • Fresh fruits

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *