Healthy eating is all about making healthier choices
Who said eating out is unhealthy? Now, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can relish your favourite cuisine without any guilt pangs, explains nutritionist Anjali Mukherjee.Updated: Mar 09, 2019, 15:43 IST
European cuisine: When ordering the main entrée, look for items that are steamed, braised, roasted, simmered, or stir-fried (ask for foods to be stir-fried with little or no oil). Replace the bacon with smoked salmon on sandwiches. Try to avoid sauces (including creamy salad dressing, mayonnaise and butter) on the side, so, you can choose the amount you use. If you have a choice, go for smaller portion size or share your food with others. It’s the easiest way to reduce the temptation to overeat. Order grilled fish or vegetables prepared with little or no butter or oil.
Chinese cuisine: Most soups on a Chinese menu are very low in fat, and a great way to start a meal. Clear chicken or vegetable soup and coriander soup are good options. They are low in calorie content, devoid of corn starch and also provide satiety. Choose steamed dumplings with plain rice and noodles, such as lemon chicken in ginger sauce with steamed rice.
Order dishes with high proportion of vegetables. Spinach stir-fried with garlic, Shanghai cucumbers, shrimp or prawns with black beans, mushrooms and broccoli are a few recommended dishes.
Most Chinese dishes are very high in sodium, due to the use of monosodium glutamate and soy sauce. So, opt for dishes prepared without them and with hot mustard, sesame seed paste along with plum sauce.
Mexican cuisine: Read the menu carefully and understand the specific ingredients of a particular item, before placing an order. A healthy choice would be taco with chicken and lettuce, or whole wheat tortilla filled with beans in tomato sauce.
Italian cuisine: A good choice would be salad, whole wheat bread and pasta without much sauce and herbs such as garlic, oregano and mint. If you eat pizza, eat one slice and supplement with a green salad. A pizza with chicken, green pepper and onions would be a healthier option. Avoid cheese and sausage on your pizza.
Indian cuisine: Indian cuisine includes perhaps the most dazzling array of fresh vegetables and fruits cooked in ways that help retain their freshness and nutrients. Tandoor dishes such as chicken tikka, grilled mushrooms and tandoori fish are preferable items.
Vegetable dishes such as shashlik, tandoori subzi, tawa bhaji and steamed dishes such as idlis, dhoklas, and khandvis are also good options if you want to eat healthy. Roomali roti, naans or parathas are best avoided as they are laden with saturated fats and are made up of maida or refined flour, which are deficient in fibre and high on glycemic index.