Sunday March 3 2013

Top tips for eat healthy when out

If you must have a sweet dessert settle for a small serving.

If you must have a sweet dessert settle for a small serving. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

Healthy eating is more than just the odd piece of fruit or low-fat meal- it is a lifestyle. It can be difficult to be healthy all the time, especially when everyone else is enjoying themselves. Take a meal out at a restaurant, for instance; do you always go for the healthiest option? Read these tips to help you make healthier choices when you are wining and dining.

• Order fish, vegetables and salads for a healthier restaurant meal.

• Choose fruit-based starters and desserts; these will contribute to your recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

• Choose wholemeal bread rolls over white for the extra fibre, which can improve digestion and may be protective against bowel cancer.

• Vegetable-based soups are a great option as they are filling and contain less fat than cream-based soups.

• Likewise, choose tomato-based sauces over cream-based ones; as well as containing less fat and calories, tomato sauces contain the antioxidant lycopene, which may help prevent prostate cancer. Men should aim to have seven or more portions of tomatoes or tomato-based foods per week.

• Choose fish- white fish is extremely low in fat and is a great source of protein, while oily fish provides omega-3 fatty acids- a “good” type of oil which has been shown to help protect against heart disease and may help prevent other diseases such as cancer.

• Look at how the dish is cooked — go for grilled or baked foods over fried or roasted. A grilled lean steak can be an excellent choice, providing a rich source of protein and iron.

• Swap ice-cream for refreshing sorbet.

• Watch your alcohol intake- while one or two drinks a day may be beneficial to health and could help protect against heart disease and osteoporosis, any more than this can have the opposite effect. If you are watching your weight, it is worth noting that alcohol contains a substantial seven calories per gram (carbohydrates and protein both contain around four calories per gram) and also increases appetite.

• Slimmers should also try to stick to one or two courses and watch portion size — a study in the US found that portion sizes in food outlets had grown by up to 700 per cent in the last 30 years!

• Try not to add salt at the table- most foods will already have been seasoned in the kitchen. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure so aim to keep your intake under six grams a day.

• Always make sure you have a side order of vegetables or salad — more importantly, make sure you eat them! in partnership with Daily Monitor