Do you order heart-healthy meal when you dine out? Trying to order a diet-friendly meal in a restaurant can be quite a challenge. Entrees are usually too big and it is hard to find out how much fat, salt and sugar was used to prepare your entree. But a smart diner can learn to order better meals in restaurants with a few handy tips and tools.
American Heart Association Certification
The American Heart Association provides a helpful guide for diners who want to eat better when they dine out. Their Dining Out Guide provides tips by cuisine, a guide for deciphering the menu and other helpful tips.
The AHA also provide a certification of certain items on restaurant menus. If you see the check-mark logo on an entree at your favorite spot, you’ll know that the item meets the nutritional guidelines established for good health by the AHA. This means that the entire meal contains:
- less than 700 calories
- less than 30% of the total calories from fat
- less than 10% of calories from saturated fat
- less than 0.5 grams trans fat per the entire meal
- 900 milligrams or less sodium per the entire meal
- 10 percent or more of the Daily Value of one of the following nutrients per the entire meal: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, dietary fiber or protein.
Making Good Restaurant Choices
Since the AHA’s restaurant certification program is new, it is very likely that you’ll end up at a restaurant that doesn’t have menu items with the logo. And very few restaurants provide nutritional information about their food. So what do you do to make better choices? Check out our Tips for Staying Social on a Diet. You’ll find quick tips for dining out and advice for how to manage parties and other situations where food is present.
You’ll find plenty of resources about diet, exercise advice and healthy eating strategies at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss. Check it out or join the weight loss community on Facebook and Twitter.