You don't have to give up eating out to cut down on fat, cholesterol, and salt. You just need to think about what you order. Many menus highlight low-fat and low-sodium dishes. But if you can't find what you want, ask. Explain what you need to the waiter or waitress. Or ask to see printed nutrition information.
Ask that foods be prepared with little or no fat and with no added salt.
Ask that sauces be left off or served on the side. Choose sauces made with tomato instead of with cream or cheese.
Ask for steamed rice or a baked or boiled potato, without butter or sour cream.
Ask that vegetables be steamed and served with no butter or sauce. Ask for lemon juice or vinegar to sprinkle on them for flavor.
Choose minestrone or vegetable soups. Ask about sodium content.
Order salad dressing on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing, then in the salad.
Look for fish, chicken, turkey, or meat that is broiled, roasted, poached, or steamed.
Order 1 or 2 low-fat appetizers or soup and a salad instead of a main dish. Or eat only half of the main dish and take the rest home.
If you want a dessert, try fresh fruit, nonfat yogurt, or sorbet. Or share a dessert.
Donuts, muffins, and pastries
Coconut, vegetables with butter, cream, or cheese sauce
Cream, whole milk, and powdered creamers
Bacon, liver, luncheon meats, ground meat, and canned fish in oil
Sweets and foods made with butter, coconut or palm oil, or hydrogenated fats