Healthy fast food and takeout
Yes, you do want fries with that. Here, how to enjoy takeout without going overboard.
If You Usually Order: Fried vegetable dumplings and shrimp lo mein.
Make It Healthier: Specify steamed dumplings, and ask that your shrimp be served with brown rice (a high-fiber whole grain) rather than noodles (made from refined white flour).
Better Yet: Pile on the vegetables (opt for vitamin- and fiber-rich bok choy and broccoli; go light on less-nutritious baby corn and water chestnuts), and be judicious with sauces (try low-sodium soy).
If You Usually Order: Deep-dish pizza topped with cheese, sausage, and green peppers.
Make It Healthier: Opt for a thin crust, and supplement your meal with a filling, fiber-packed cup of minestrone, found at many sit-down pizza places, says Lisa Dorfman, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
Better Yet: Order a thin crust, light on cheese, with grilled chicken. You get protein, but save fat and calories, says David Goldbeck, coauthor of Healthy Highways: The Traveler's Guide to Healthy Eating (Ceres Press, $16, barnesandnoble.com).
If You Usually Order: Chicken Parmesan with a side of spaghetti.
Make It Healthier: Try grilled chicken on top of pasta. And go local when you can. A mom-and-pop restaurant is more likely than a chain to prepare food the healthful and traditional Mediterranean way (read: less processed).
Better Yet: If you crave pasta, avoid cheese-stuffed varieties (better yet, ask for spaghetti squash), and top it with marinara sauce (as opposed to anything cream-based). As for meat, choose a chicken or fish dish that isn't fried.
If You Usually Order: Tempura vegetables with California and spicy-tuna rolls.
Make It Healthier: Substitute one item with a side of soy―either a serving of miso soup or a bowl of steamed edamame. And limit your starch serving to an amount the size of a tennis ball, says Dorfman.
Better Yet: Avoid anything "tempura," which indicates "fried," and any rolls that contain mayonnaise. Better choices include omega-3-rich fish, like salmon, vegetable rolls, and sushi with avocado, which contains heart-healthy fats.