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Healthful Eating in Restaurants

Everyone can enjoy an occasional meal in a restaurant and order whatever they want. But if you have to eat in restaurants several times a week, you need to devise ways to make healthy choices and avoid the temptation to over-eat. If you are trying to control weight, diabetes, cholesterol or high blood pressure, you must find ways to meet your special requirements.

First, choose restaurants that gives you a fighting chance. Find a restaurant with a good salad bar and load up on fresh vegetables. Order broiled fish for your entree. Ask to have it prepared with lemon juice instead of butter. Have steamed vegetables as an accompaniment, without added butter, and fresh fruit or fruit ice for dessert.

Asian restaurants often have a wide array of tasty dishes with lots of vegetables. Thai and Vietnamese restaurants and Mongolian grills are good choices if you stick to the vegetarian and seafood entrees. Go easy on the white rice.

Your chances of finding whole grains in a restaurant are slim to none, but if you travel a lot, you might want to pack or shop for your own cereal to eat in your hotel. Large cities and college towns often have vegetarian restaurants that offer varied, flavorful meals made with vegetables, beans and sometimes even whole grains. Whatever you order, watch out for the huge portions that many restaurants serve. Divide it up at the beginning of the meal and save some for the next day's lunch, share with a friend, or just leave it.

The restaurants listed below are a few of the national chains that offer good to excellent salad bars and some other healthier choices for people on the go.

Applebees
Baja Fresh
Black Eyed Pea
Bob's Big Boy
California Tortilla
Chili's
Chipotle
Denny's
Golden Corral
Long John Silvers
Lone Star
Olive Garden
P.F. Chang's
Ponderosa
Red Lobster
Ruby Tuesday
Silver Diner
Souplantations
Subway
Sweet Tomatoes
TGI Friday's

If you have found other good choices let me know and I'll add them to this list

Checked 4/24/09

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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