Eating Out And Staying Healthy

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This blog has been provided by Live Healthy Appalachia, a non-profit agency that aims to improve health and well-being in the Appalachian region. 

Trying to stay true to healthy living and eating is difficult when you are dining out. But whether you’re out with friends or you’re just avoiding kitchen clean-up, there are ways to balance eating out with a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some tips for making restaurant items healthier:

1.     When ordering a salad, ask for dressing or cheeses on the side to control the amount used, and opt for vinegar based dressing instead of creamy dressings.

2.     Ask if your meal can be made without dairy, meat or eggs.

3.     At pizza places, request a whole grain crust and/or pizza without cheese.

4.     Order menu items grilled or steamed rather than sautéed, battered, fried or pan fried, which will help cut back on the amount of oil and fat in your food.

5.     Order water or unsweetened tea to drink instead of soda.

One of the keys to eating healthy is to eat local. Local restaurants are more likely to be able accommodate dietary needs and alterations to menu items because much of their food is prepared in house, while many menu items at chain restaurants are pre-made. And, fortunately, many local restaurants in Athens already have delicious, healthier options.

Stop by Kiser’s BBQ for their veggie burger made with Shagbark Black Beans and fresh vegetables for a quick, family-friendly meal. Or, if you’re looking for a night out on the weekend, make a reservation at Rickshaw Thai and order the Stir Fry Vegetables with Ginger, Green Curry Dish, or Massaman Curry. Keep your eyes out for “CHIP Approved” menu items at restaurants like Lui Lui for the healthiest options.

Keep in mind that the best options will always be those you prepare at home where you’re in control of the amount of oil, salt, meat, and dairy used.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a meal out on the town every once in a while!