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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Healthy Dining Out

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Eating out is so much more common now than it was when I was growing up. We were lucky if we got to go to McDonald’s after church a couple times per month, and that was about the extent of our eating out. Now, according to the National Restaurant Association, Americans eat out an average of four to five times per week. Back in the day, eating out was a treat and an indulgence. You could get the creamy or the fried or the dessert every time you went out because it was only a few times per month. But when you are eating out five or more times per week, you cannot indulge every time you go out or your waistline will pay for it!

A poll found that 2/3 of dieters said they stick to their diets even when eating out. They are able to find or create healthy options without overindulging. How do they find those options? It isn’t easy, but the good news is that there are resources available.

Here is one resource for you. Check out www.healthydiningfinder.com The National Restaurant Association (NRA) supports the site and encourages it's members to participate. The site was created with partial funding from the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC)

This website is free and it gives detailed nutrition information on featured menu items that fit their nutrition criteria. You may find the nutrition info for dishes on this website that you cannot even find at the restaurant’s own website! In addition, the website offers tips on how to make the dish even healthier with the “Special Request” advice.

Some of Healthy Dining Finder nutrition criteria:
Entrees less than 750 calories, 25 grams of fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat
Appetizers, side dishes, desserts less than 250 calories, 8 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat

Hopefully we will see more and more restaurants offering selections that fit the criteria so that we can all make tasty, healthy choices when eating out!
Photo courtesy of extravigator
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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