Eating Out Healthfully

Eating Out Healthfully. Dine Out. Live Healthy.

A commitment to healthy eating does not mean the end of dining-out fun. Eating out healthfully and enjoying a healthy lifestyle can go hand in hand.

At a restaurant, you have a right to know how the food is prepared. Just ask! If the wait staff is unable to answer your question(s), ask the chef – or ask the waiter to ask the chef. You can ask these questions when you are in the restaurant or you can call in advance.

Fast Food TipsFast Food Meal

Many fast-food restaurant chains now have nutrition information available. Ask for a free brochure, then compare the nutrition information in the foods that they offer. You can also look the restaurant up online. Most larger chains have all their menu choices along with nutrition information on their sites. Truth is, it is easier than ever to practice eating out healthfully.

Your Focus: Smart Choices

Focus on the item of your concern – calories, sodium, fat or cholesterol – and make your food choices based on that information.

  • Choose grilled chicken sandwiches and hamburgers without the high-fat toppings, sauces or marinades or added cheese. Ketchup and mustard or lettuce and tomato are better choices.
  • Have a side salad instead of fries, or try a broiled chicken salad with low-fat dressing.
  • Remove the skin from fast-food fried chicken or try the rotisserie-style chicken.
  • Choose corn on the cob, mashed potatoes or baked beans on the side.

Restaurant Tips

  • Plan ahead. Know the restaurants in your area and patronize those that cater to special requests. Eating out healthfully can become a good habit.
  • Ask how foods are prepared – never assume. Ask if the cook can use less of high-fat ingredients such as cheese, cream or butter or oil.
  • Ask to have sauces and dressings served on the side. Many restaurants offer low-fat or fat-free dressings.
  • Choose vegetable or tomato based soups and sauces. Creamed varieties can add up to 15 to 20 grams of fat to a meal.
  • Split an entree with a friend and order extra salad and bread.
  • Fruit, sorbet or sherbet makes a light ending to a healthy meal. When you cannot resist, split a rich dessert. Some restaurants will even serve you a half-serving.
  • Ask to be served a smaller-sized portion or have half of your meal placed in a doggy bag before you start to eat. A smaller amount eaten always means fewer calories and less fat, sodium and cholesterol, no matter what food is ordered. Remember that some restaurant-sized portions of pasta may equal up to two pounds of pasta. You do not have to eat it all at one sitting!
  • Order a salad and appetizer, or a salad and soup for your entire meal. There is no rule saying you must have an entire entree.
  • If you choose to drink an alcoholic beverage, reduce the calories from wine by having a wine spritzer. Drink plenty of water before and during your meal; then you may not drink as much alcohol. Remember that alcohol has only empty calories. There is absolutely no nutritional value.

Protein: A Major Nutrient

Protein: A Major Nutrient

Protein is the second major nutrient needed by your body. Your body uses protein to build and repair body tissue. Muscles, organs, bones, skin and many of the chemical messengers in your body are made of protein. Protein can also provide energy for your body if carbohydrates are not available.

Protein Foods: Major Nutrient
Protein Foods: Major Nutrient

Amino Acids

Protein is a chain of building blocks called amino acids. In the human body, there are 22 amino acids. They combine with each other in an almost infinite number of ways. The human body can only make 13 of the 22 amino acids it needs for survival. This means nine of the amino acids must come from the foods we eat.

You get amino acids from eating plant protein or by eating the meat from animals that consumed protein.

This major nutrient of protein is found in the following foods.

  • Meat. Almost any meat is a source of the major nutrient, protein.
  • Poultry. Chicken is a favorite source of the major nutrient or protein.
  • Fish and shellfish. Important parts of a healthy and balanced diet. They are good sources of high quality protein and other nutrients.
  • Eggs. Eggs also provide vitamin A, riboflavin, and other vitamins and minerals.
  • Cheese. Right along with calcium, you get protein! Cheese. A wonder food.
  • Milk. Full fat, low fat or fat free, they are all a good source of this major nutrient.

Grain, legumes and nuts also contain protein. Other sources include foods such as oatmeal, lentils and peanuts.

High Sugar Foods

High Sugar Foods

Used in large amounts, high sugar foods can cause an abnormally high rise in blood sugar. This is due to the quick digestion of carbohydrates in the intestinal tract, which turns into glucose causing quick entry into the bloodstream.

High Sugar Foods
High Sugar Foods

If your body does not contain enough insulin to handle this surge of high sugar foods, blood sugar levels can rise too high. The following list is of  high sugar foods that can cause difficulties with diabetic management. If you use carbohydrate counting as part of an eating plan, you may be able to use these techniques to incorporate some of these foods into your meals.

High sugar foods are often high in fat and calories and contribute little nutritional value. If you are looking to cut back on sugar for health reasons, or for weight loss, avoid the following foods until you meet with a dietitian to learn if they can be included in your diet.

List of High Sugar Foods

  • Alcohol: Sweet wines, liqueurs, cordials.
  • Candy.
  • Carbonated beverages with sugar, including regular soda.
  • Sugar coated cereals.
  • Chewing gum with sugar.
  • Dates, figs and other dried fruits.
  • Desserts containing sugar.
    • Cake.
    • Cookies with filling or frosting.
    • Ice cream, including sodas, shakes and sundaes.
    • Ice milk.
    • Gelatin dessert, sweetened.
    • Pie.
    • Pudding.
    • Sherbet.
  • Fructose.
  • Fruited yogurt.
  • Honey.
  • Jelly and Jam (non-dietetic).
  • Marmalade.
  • Pastries.
  • Preserves.
  • Special “dietetic” foods.
  • Sugar.
  • Sugar-sweetened fruit drinks (Kool-Aid, Hi-C, etc.).
  • Sweetened condensed milk.
  • Syrups (maple, molasses, etc.)

Alcohol may interfere with the management of diabetes. Always consult with your doctor or dietitian before consuming alcohol.

For Diabetics

Perhaps you are aware that today diabetics do not have to give up their sweet treats entirely, thanks to artificial sweeteners. There is a wide range available that you can fit into your diet program.

Sweeteners that contain calories, called nutritive sweeteners, will affect your blood sugar. These sweeteners are all carbohydrates and contain four calories per gram. Non-nutritive sweeteners contain few, if any, calories and are therefore called non-caloric sweeteners. These will have no effect on your blood sugar so people with diabetes can use these types of sweeteners. You will find artificial sweeteners have different cooking properties and tastes. You may want to try a variety, depending on the way you wish to use them and according to your taste.

Reducing Fat and Cholesterol

Are You Reducing Fat and Cholesterol in Your Recipes?

Reducing Fat and Cholesterol
Reducing Fat and Cholesterol

Tips for reducing fat and cholesterol in your favorite recipes.

  • Avoid high-fat, high-cholesterol foods completely. These include animal based foods such as red meat, eggs, whole milk, butter or whole milk cheese. Drink skim milk or skim milk products. Use tub margarine with liquid olive or peanut oil as the primary ingredient in place of butter or sour cream.
  • Stock your refrigerator with foods that are naturally low in fat and cholesterol-free such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • When you cook poultry, remove the skin. To retain moistness, you can cook it with the skin on, but do not eat the skin. Remove it before eating the chicken.
  • Bake, boil, broil, roast or steam foods rather than frying. Avoid fried foods and aim to eliminate them from your diet entirely. This is a great habit for reducing fat and cholesterol.
  • Use nonstick cooking sprays which are low in calories. You could also use a small dab of butter in a pan if necessary but avoid lard, bacon fat and shortening.
  • When preparing recipes, experiment by cutting the fat by one-fourth or one-third. For example, if a muffin recipe calls for 1-cup of oil, try 3/4-cup. If that works try using 2/3-cup next time and so on.
  • When a recipe calls for milk, use skim milk or 1-percent milk. If the result is too thin, try evaporated skim milk, which also can be used effectively in cream soups. It can be whipped when partially frozen.
  • Remove the fat from gravy and soup using a fat separator (a small pitcher with a specially designed spout). Or refrigerate the food overnight and skim off the fat when hardened.
  • In recipes, substitute low-fat or non fat plain yogurt for sour cream. To help separation in cooked foods, bland a small amount of flour or cornstarch (1-tablespoon) into the yogurt.
  • For half or all of the ground beef required in a recipe, substitute ground white turkey or ground white chicken meat. In addition, in many recipes you can usually cut the amount of meat in half. This works best with recipes calling for ground meat to further reduce fat and cholesterol.
  • Eat no more than two to four eggs per week. Each large egg has about 213 milligrams of cholesterol. In recipes, use an egg white for one whole egg, or use egg substitutes.

Fat Substitutes for Reducing Fat and Cholesterol

Another way to reduce fat is to use products that contain fat substitutes or fat replacers. Most fat replacers are made of all-natural, food-based substances.

They fall into three categories.

  1. Carbohydrate-based. An excellent thickener and stabilizer. Used in many formulated foods, such as margarine, mayonnaise and baked desserts.
  2. Protein based. Good for frozen and refrigerated products such as dairy products, cream-type products and prepared entrees such as pizza.
  3. Fat based. After being chemically altered, have fewer calories than fat or no calories at all. These are very stable when heated making them good for cooking.

Eat Better. On YOUR Terms.

Eat Better. On YOUR Terms.

Eat Better.
Eat Better.

Eat better. No doubt that can make a difference in your overall health. Like you haven’t heard that before!? Well, that’s because it is true. But you needn’t go to overt extremes. There are “forces” out there convincing us everything is bad – bad, bad, bad food! It’s just not so. No food is bad food. It’s what has been done to our food that can be bad.

But you won’t hear government nannies or food industry professionals explain that to you.

For example, many don’t realize that the rise in lactose intolerance is from the pasteurization of milk. The very thing we’re told makes it “better for us”. From FiascoFarm:

Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, alters vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

That’s some pretty heavy information – and that’s just the beginning. After you’re done here, visit their page if you’d like to learn more stunning facts on milk and what’s been done to it that harms us.

And how about sugar? Government regulations insist that white sugar must have all the vitamins and minerals removed so that it can be labeled sucrose. These nutrients and fiber waste products are the substances that help your body digest sugar without massive blood sugar fluctuations.

Instead of things like this being spread throughout the news outlets, all we hear is how we eat too many fatty foods.  We eat too much animal protein, too much sugar and too many packaged, prepared, or fast foods. Pure cane sugar is nature’s food. Eggs are natures food. Butter is natures food – margarine, man made and once touted as “better for us” turns out to be a main culprit of deadly trans fat.

Are you beginning to see where the real fat fight is? It didn’t start with us.

A study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified more than 55 pesticides that can leave cancer causing residues in food. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, the use of pesticides has risen more than tenfold since the 1940s. Pesticides are not water-soluble. This means that cannot just be “washed off”.

In your body, pesticides like to attach to fat cells, starting a dangerous process. There are some experts that believe this is a large part of the reason cigarettes became a target for cancer of just about everything. In other words, a very corrupt cover up. Is it true? Honestly, no one knows for sure, but it’s worth consideration. Another punch in the fat fight.

The point here is, stop getting down about how and what you eat. Now granted, too much of any of those above mentioned foods aren’t good for anyone. Too much of ANYTHING isn’t good for anyone. However, sticking to foods in their most natural state is not harmful, it’s healthful.

Our bodies were not designed to handle all the artificial chemicals used by the food-processing industry such as artificial colors, flavors, flavor enhancers, bleach, texture agents, conditioners, ripening gases, waxes, firming agents, nutrient enrichment, preservatives, heavy metals, and other chemicals.

Try to avoid pre-packaged meals cranked out in factories and heavily processed foods. When you purchase frozen fruit and vegetables, check the ingredients to make sure your getting mainly the vegetable or fruit. Don’t use margarine in place of butter.

In summary, eat better yes, but on your terms. Mother nature keeps it simple. Follow her lead.

Fitness Shake Recipe

Fitness Shake Recipe

A delicious, health fitness shake recipe with skim milk, banana, yogurt, wheat germ, vanilla and sweetener to keep the sugar down. All nicely spiced with cinnamon. Bananas have lots of potassium and can give flagging energy levels a boost.

Fitness Shake Recipe
Fitness Shake Recipe

2 cups skim milk
2 medium-size ripe bananas, cut into l-inch pieces
1/2 cup fat-free plain or *banana yogurt
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 packets sweetener or 1/3-cup measurable sweetener of choice
Ground cinnamon (optional)


Process all ingredients, except cinnamon, in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Recipe makes four (8-ounce) servings.

Notes: *For a more intense banana flavor, go with the banana yogurt. To mute the banana flavor a bit, use the plain yogurt.

The ground cinnamon is optional, but recommended. It pairs tastefully with the banana flavor and adds a healthy sweet spice taste.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 190
Fat: 2g
Carbohydrate: 33g
Cholesterol: 4mg
Sodium: 134mg
Protein: 12g
Exchanges: 1-1/2 Milk, 1 Fruit, 1/2 Fat

You may also like…

  • Liquid Meals – Meal substitutes are a convenient way to reduce calories. Meal substitutes should provide protein and be low in fat and calories. They can also be considered fitness shakes.
  • Pineapple Milkshake – Combine pineapple, ice cream, milk, and cinnamon. Process until smooth and creamy.

Sugar, Sweet Sugar

Sugar, Sweet Sugar

Health experts proclaim the average American eats about 156 pounds of sugar a year – at least double what health experts recommend.

Did you know…

Canister of Sugar
Canister of Sugar
  1. A 20-ounce bottle of regular Coke contains the equivalent of 17 teaspoons?
  2. Can you imagine going to your bowl or canister and eating 17 teaspoons at one sitting?
  3. Do you check the content on food and nutrition labels?

Gram Conversion

To convert the grams listed on the food label into teaspoons, simply divide the grams of sugar by 4.2 to get the number of teaspoons.

For example, an 8-ounce container of fat free fruit yogurt has 43.1 grams, or 10.3 teaspoons. (43.1 divided by 4.2 equals 10.3).

The USDA recommends that the average person eat no more than 10 teaspoons per day.

Sweet Usefulness

But sugar isn’t all bad! We simply cannot leave out its good points.

  • In small amounts, it helps yeast begin producing gas for raising yeast dough.
  • It tenderizes dough’s and batters for baked goods.
  • It helps brown baked goods.
  • It makes the crumb of baked goods moist.
  • It aids in the structure of cakes.
  • It is the white sugar in cookie dough that helps spreading to occur during baking.

The “sweet stuff” is such an integral part of our lives that to cut it out would be to remove much of the pleasure of eating. But, it does not have to be that way.

A Bit of History

In 1807, brothers William and Frederick Havemeyer immigrated to the United States from England to start a cane sugar refinery in lower Manhattan.

Five generations of Havemeyers supervised the company’s growth and expansion throughout the nineteenth century, adopting the most progressive methods in the industry.

In 1809, Henry Havemeyer organized the American Sugar Refining Company, which produced nearly all of the sugar in the United States at that time. The company, renamed Amstar Corporation, eventually became Tate and Lyle North American Sugars, Inc., which today owns the Domino brand.

Did you know?

During World War II, GIs called a letter from one’s sweetheart a “sugar report“.

Brown sugar won’t harden if you store it in the freezer.

Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips

Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips Freebie

Bringing fat levels into line with health recommendations is not as difficult as most people seem to think. It is a simple goal, easily accomplished by shaving a few grams of fat here and a few grams of fat there. Following are 44 suggestions that offer help to get you started.

Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips
Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips

The Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips

  1. Take the focus off small meat portions by trying stir-fry’s. Very little or no oil and lots of vegetables keep the dish lean.
  2. Try the en papillote (paper packet) technique for fish or chicken. Use parchment paper or foil and place lean meat, herbs, vegetables and a splash of liquid, like wine, in the center. Wrap and bake.
  3. Bake fish with a splash of white wine, chopped tomatoes, and basil for a fast, low fat entree.
  4. Opt for the select grade in meat; it has less marbling and much less fat than choice cuts.
  5. Marinate lean cuts of meats with citrus juice, vinegar, or other acidic liquids to help tenderize them before cooking. Add fresh herbs to flavor marinade.
  6. Substitute turkey breast or lean ham for luncheon meats like bologna, salami, and liverwurst. Or try low fat turkey copycat versions of pastrami and bologna.
  7. Let lean smoked ham or Canadian bacon take the place of bacon in recipes. Ham offers the smoky flavor of bacon with less fat.
  8. Use meat and cheese as side dishes, and let vegetables and grains fill out the plate.
  9. Peel the skin off chicken or turkey after roasting or baking. As long as you remove skin prior to eating, you will cut back on fat.
  10. Broil meats used in stews, soups and roasts rather than browning them in oil. No need to add more fat to foods that already contain plenty.
  11. Oven-fry chicken and fish: Dip in egg whites, coat with seasoned bread crumbs and bake on a nonstick pan coated with vegetable spray.
  12. Make fruit pies with a single crust. Place the fruit directly in the pie dish and top with pastry. Or make an open face fruit tart.
  13. Bake, stew, or poach peaches (or apples or pears) with cinnamon, cloves and honey for a lean dessert splurge.
  14. Puree chopped cantaloupe in the blender, then add a dash of nutmeg and serve the sauce over ice milk or low fat frozen yogurt.
  15. Substitute evaporated skim milk in recipes that call for heavy cream.
  16. Reach for gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, fig or low fat fruit bars, and animal crackers when cookie cravings strike.
  17. Serve angel food cake with fresh strawberries (or frozen, thawed, with
    syrup included) and fresh kiwi slices for a colorful dessert.
  18. Make pudding with skim milk. Add a touch of spice, like nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves, to boost flavor.
  19. Cook onions, mushrooms, and green peppers in a pan coated with nonstick vegetable spray, not oil. Two tablespoons of oil used to saute vegetables will carry an extra 240 fat calories. Vegetable sprays add less than ten.
  20. Cut back on buttering vegetables with this gradual method: Use one part margarine with one part lemon juice. Eventually try for mostly lemon and little or no margarine.
  21. Top a baked potato with salsa, meatless chili, or low fat cottage cheese and dill or mixed vegetables plus a tablespoon of grated low fat cheese.
  22. Roast vegetables (sweet pepper chunks, zucchini, asparagus, sliced eggplant) for some low fat flavor. Spray lightly with vegetable spray. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until tender but crisp.
  23. Peel and chop jicama or cucumbers; sprinkle with chili powder to make a Tex-Mex style munchies.
  24. Create a tangy salad dressing with a splash of rice vinegar and dried herbs, or combine plain nonfat yogurt, Dijon mustard, and spices for a creamier topping.
  25. Fix a mock cream sauce with nonfat, plain yogurt; season with dill and serve over salmon. Another variation: Season yogurt with horseradish and serve warm instead of chilled.
  26. Save roughly 10 grams of fat by substituting a tablespoon of mustard for
    a tablespoon of mayonnaise on a sandwich. Other low fat spreads include fruit and vegetable chutney and salsa.
  27. Substitute low fat milk and chicken stock for cream in recipes. The flavor will be less rich, but will taste as good.
  28. Keep reduced fat margarine’s and mayonnaise on hand; they often contain half the fat of the full fat variety. Nonfat mayonnaise is another option.
  29. Use nonfat powdered milk to lighten coffee instead of cream or nondairy creamers.
  30. Pour syrup on pancakes or waffles instead of butter. Two tablespoons contain 100 calories, but zero fat. Two tablespoons of butter add 200 calories, almost all from fat.
  31. Revamp vinaigrette dressing recipes from traditional 3 part oil, 1 part vinegar, to 3 parts vinegar, 1 part oil. Use rice vinegar for a milder flavor.
  32. Mix equal amounts of nonfat plain yogurt with mayonnaise to make a creamy, lower fat dressing for tuna or chicken salad. For even more savings, use reduced fat or fat free mayonnaise.
  33. Concentrate on a few target foods that you are willing to substitute for or limit. Starting with small changes allows for a better long term adjustment to low fat eating.
  34. Look for crackers and snack products that have been baked rather than fried. Be sure to read the Nutrition Facts panel.
  35. Chill homemade and canned soups; skim off the fat layer that forms on the top. Each tablespoon discarded saves about 120 fat calories.
  36. Let an 8 ounce container of 99 percent fat free cottage cheese stand in for the ricotta cheese in your lasagna recipe. You save almost 200 calories, most of them from fat. Nonfat and low fat ricotta cheeses are also available.
  37. Order pizza with any kind of vegetables such as onions, broccoli, mushrooms, green pepper and less cheese. For a meat topping, choose Canadian bacon or ham instead of high fat sausage or pepperoni.
  38. Drain pan-fried foods on a paper towel before serving to absorb extra grease. Go easy on the oil.
  39. Keep the oil in your saucepan or wok very hot when stir-frying.
    Vegetables soak up cold oil much quicker than hot.
  40. Sprinkle powdered butter substitutes (found in the spice section) onto hot foods like baked squash and mashed potatoes. One half teaspoon, a mere four calories, replaces the 108 calories and 12 grams of fat found in a tablespoon of butter.
  41. Fill the refrigerator with nonfat yogurts, sliced raw vegetables, seasonal fruits, fruit juice bars, and frozen low fat fudge bars. When the urge to snack strikes, these low fat munchies will be at your fingertips.
  42. Nibble on bread sticks instead of buttery dinner or crescent rolls. Bread sticks are much lower in fat, and there is less temptation to slather them with butter.
  43. Experiment with fresh herbs like basil, dill, rosemary, and cilantro. Try
    them on vegetables and poultry and in soups. They add lots of great flavor but no fat.
  44. Give yourself a break on occasion. When you are tired of paying attention to every bite of food you put into your mouth and craving a few French fries or a slice of chocolate cake, indulge and enjoy yourself! For heart and overall health, diets do not have to include only certain foods. It bears repeating: Low fat eating is all a matter of balance.

Download the Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips FREE

Download the Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips in PDF
Download the Forty Four Fat Trimming Tips