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Nutrition for a Healthy Heart

It takes effort and commitment to change eating habits. People can't easily change overnight.  In fact, it's best to ease into new habits slowly. This way you can form new, positive that will be just as comfortable as you old ones.  You'll find that your new healthy lifestyle will help you look better, feel better and have healthier heart!

Going out to eat doesn't mean losing control of your eating plan. By thinking ahead and making smart choices, you can follow a low-cholesterol, low fat diet almost anywhere you go!

What should I order when eating out?

  • Ask the server to make substitutions like having vegetables instead of french fries.
  • Pick lean meat, fish or skinless chicken.
  • Make sure your entree is broiled, baked, grilled, steamed instead of fried.
  • Order lots of vegetable side dishes and ask that any sauces or butter be left out
  • Squeeze lemon on your salad instead of dressing
  • Ask for baked, boiled or roasted potatoes instead of fried.  And ask for them without the butter and sour cream
  • Order fresh fruit or fruit sorbet in place of cake, pie or ice cream desserts.
  • Ask about low-fat or fat-free choices.
  • When it seems that everything on the menu is "off limits" ask if the cook will make you a fruit or vegetable platter.  Most are happy to do it.
  • Push the butter or margarine out of your way.
  • Order your dressings and sauces on the side, so you can dip your food into them and control how much you use.
  • Stay away from fried appetizers or creamy soups and begin your meal with broth-based soups like minestrone.
  • When at the salad bar, stay away from high-fat items like cheese, cream dressings, chopped eggs, croutons, olives and bacon bits.
  • Ask that your food be made without butter or cream sauces; you'll be surprised at how delicious meat, fish and chicken can be broiled "dry".
  • Take the skin off your chicken when it arrives, and remove any fat from meat before eating.
  • At Oriental restaurants, order a stir-fried chicken or fish and vegetable dish.  Instead of fried rice, ask for steamed rice.
  • At Italian restaurants, choose red marinara sauces over white, creamy ones.  Try a fish dish or meatless pasta instead of entrees made with sausage or meatballs.  Eat plain Italian bread instead of buttery, garlic bread.  Go easy on the grated parmesan cheese.
  • At Mexican restaurants, enjoy salsa or picante sauce, but limit guacamole, cheese and sour cream.  Opt for corn tortillas over flour ones, and avoid refried beans. 

1994, 1996 American Heart Association