24 | Special Topic Supplement: VENOUS THROMBOEMBOLISM
ating out doesn’t have to be a health dilemma.
Many restaurants offer tasty meals that are low
in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and added
A diet high in saturated and trans fats can raise the
level of cholesterol in the blood. Eating too much sodium
can increase blood pressure in some people. And, added
sugars provide no nutrients, but the added calories can
lead to weight gain, or even obesity.
When choosing a restaurant, keep these things in
mind. Will the restaurant:
• Take special food preparation requests?
• Prepare food without salt, MSG or other ingredients
that can add sodium?
• Serve dressings and sauces on the side?
• Serve soft margarine (0 g trans fat) or healthier
vegetable oils, not butter, with the meal?
• Serve low-fat dairy products such as 1%
or skim milk?
• Prepare dishes using nontropical vegetable oil
(canola, olive, peanut, corn, soybean, sunflower,
safflower) or soft margarine made with vegetable oil?
• Remove skin from poultry and trim visible fat from
all meats before cooking?
• Broil, grill, bake, steam or poach rather than
• Leave all butter, gravy or sauces off entrées and
• Serve fresh fruit and fruit-based desserts without
a lot of added sugars and unhealthy fats?
Avoid foods that are fried, au gratin, crispy, scalloped,
pan-fried or stuffed, and look for items that are steamed,
broiled, baked, grilled, poached, roasted, or sautéed in
Mind Portion Sizes
To keep from overeating, ask for smaller portions.
You can also split an appetizer, entrée or dessert with
a friend. Or, ask for a take-home box and put half the
meal in before you start eating. If you’re ordering food to
go, avoid eating from the container or package. Instead,
serve the food in a small bowl or plate to help control the
amount you eat.
Choose Healthier Fats
Ask that your meal be prepared with non-tropical
vegetable oil (canola, olive, corn, soy, sunflower or
safflower) or soft margarine instead
of butter and less-healthy oils.
Avoid Excess Salt
Foods that are pickled, smoked or
served with sauces such as cocktail
sauce, au jus, gravy, other salty broths
and soy or teriyaki sauce can contain a
lot of sodium. Limit these items. Ask that
your food be prepared without added
salt or MSG and that sauces be served
on the side.
Don’t be shy. Ask for what you want!
Most foods on the menu can fit into a
heart-healthy eating plan if prepared
in a healthier manner. If your food isn’t
prepared as you asked, send it back.
Healthy Eating Away from Home