When your stomach tells you it’s feeding time, how do you respond?
- Grab your healthy brown-bag lunch and bottle of water.
- Whip up a meal in the kitchen made from fresh ingredients.
- Hit the nearest restaurant or drive thru and munch your way through an entrée, sides, and a drink.
If your diet looks anything like the typical American’s (fast food, burgers, fries, pizza, fried chicken, soda, etc.), you’re not alone.
Did you know…1 out of every 5 calories you eat comes from restaurant food?1
Yes. It’s possible to order healthy food from the menu. You know…
- The leafy-green salad
- The soup of the day
- Sans-bun with burger + lettuce wrap
- Vegetables instead of fries
- The fruit parfait
- Water instead of soda, milkshakes, or sugary coffee drinks
But guess what? A lot of people don’t make the healthy choice, even when it’s an option.
In the study, researchers found that:
- 70% of all fast-food meals are of poor dietary quality
- 50% of all full-service restaurant meals ordered are of poor nutritional quality
- The typical fast food or restaurant entree contains 1,200 to 1,500 calories. And that doesn’t include drinks, sides, or desserts!
The dining-out dilemma
Cooking healthy food at home more often is the better option. But if you are going to a sit-down restaurant, ordering take-out or hitting a drive-thru, you can make healthier restaurant choices.
Here are SIX easy ways to eat healthier at a restaurant:
- Find out how many calories are in a meal, before you order.
- Place half your meal in a to-go box before you start eating.
- Split a meal with someone else.
- Order from the kid’s or senior’s menu.
- Pick a side dish as your main course.
- Ask the restaurant staff to make you a smaller portion.
You hungry? Before you go out to eat, order a meal online, or find the nearest drive-thru, take a closer look at these tips to eat healthier.
You’ll be glad you did.
1. Liu., J., et al. (2020). Quality of meals consumed by US adults at full-service and fast-food restaurants: Persistent low quality and widening disparities. The Journal of Nutrition, 150(4): 873-883. From: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/150/4/873/5696668
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