6 Tips for Staying Healthy When Eating Out

If you enjoy eating out in Singapore, don't think you have to give it up to maintain your health. You may order meals that are as healthful as those you prepare at home with some planning and clever alternatives.

For those of us who may struggle finding the right healthy options that you can create easily at home, here are a few tips that may help.

Splitting Your Plate Is Not a Good Idea

You've probably heard that asking for half portions or sharing your dinner with a friend is a good idea. However, given the large portion sizes served at some establishments, half may be insufficient.

Visualize what your plate would look like at home and then try to recreate it in your restaurant meal. Include healthier options from all dietary groups, such as lean protein foods, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, in your meal. Look for "balance in a bowl" entrée salads that are freshly prepared. Ask for dressing on the side, so you can control how much you use.

Some ideas of healthy toppings for sandwiches include lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onion; while sauces may include ketchup, mustard, relish, or salsa.

Additionally, try to order nutritious side dishes when eating out like a side salad, baked potato, or fruit to round out your meal. Top your baked potato with vegetables, salsa, or chili to increase the nutritional value.

Don't Get Too Hungry

If you're hungry before going to the restaurant, have a little snack like a piece of fruit. To satisfy hunger, or get a cup of broth-based soup or a small salad at a restaurant.

Keep It Lean

Choose dishes made with lean proteins like chicken or turkey (where the skin can be removed) or lean red meats like pork fillets or beef. Avoid fattier pieces of meat such as pork belly or rump steak, and trim any visible fat from the chop's edge.

Ask questions

Don't be scared to ask your server for assistance in making your dish healthier. You may, for example, request a salad instead of the standard fries or chips with your meal. You can also request that foods be made with less oil or cheese, or having your salad with dressing on the side.

Keep Your Salt Levels in Check

Reduce the amount of smoked or soy sauce or teriyaki sauce-based items you eat. Look for "light" versions of these sauces and request that they be served separately. Learn how to identify meals that are high in sodium.

Drinks That Are Sugary Should Be Avoided

Instead of sweetened beverages like soda pop, ice tea, or lemonade, drink water or low-fat milk when eating out. Sparkling water with lemon or lime wedges is a refreshing drink.