Find the heart healthy menu item when dining out

By Kary Woodruff

Did you know that on average, Americans will eat out four times a week? This can include grabbing something in the drive-thru or taking the family out to a nice restaurant. Either way, not knowing what is on the menu can lead to going the less-than-heart-healthy route. Check out this everyday scenario to see how you stack up on choosing the most heart-healthy menu item. 

finding-the-right-menu-option-at-restaurant

You are out to dinner at a restaurant you have never been to. You open the menu and see dozens of options. Which food item do you select?

a) The lasagna, of course – you haven’t eaten for hours and you are starving, so that sounds the most satisfying. Of course, that also means you end up eating 3 pieces of bread while you wait.

b) You look at the menu and decide the chicken caesar salad sounds the healthiest. You then decide to order the chocolate cake for dessert to reward yourself for being good

c) The grilled pork tenderloin with roasted vegetables – you had looked at the menu ahead of time and saw the deceptively high calories in the chicken caesar salad (900 calories?!), but realized the pork tenderloin was a more reasonable 600 calories.  You had a little snack before you went so you avoided the temptation of the bread, and you had some fresh fruit for dessert

The answer is c.  Always know before you go!

If you are going out to eat, take five minutes to look at the menu ahead of time and investigate what will be the healthiest and most satisfying choice for you. Most restaurants post their menu online, so a quick web search can help you identify the healthiest option. 

Don’t arrive overly hungry – you are much more likely to overeat!  And always ask for fresh fruit, it may not be listed on the menu but often times restaurants can provide this as a dessert option if requested.