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General Guide to Healthy Ethnic Dining Out

By Dr. John Rumberger

The Healthy Way to eat out. The do's and dont's for your next ethnic meal. Covering foods fromm Chinese, French, Mexican, and Greek... Don't leave home without it.

Chinese:

Look for: stir-fry or steamed dishes with lots of vegetables, steamed rice (brown if possible over white), poached fish, and hot and sour soups

Avoid: fatty spareribs, fried wontons, egg rolls, shrimp toast and fried rice

French:

Look for: steamed shellfish, roasted poultry, salad with dressing on the side, and sauces with a wine or tomato base

Avoid: high-fat sauces (bchamel, hollandaise, b"arnaise), croissants, pate, and rich pastries

Greek:

Look for: plaki (fish cooked with tomatoes, onions and garlic) and kabobs (broiled on a spit with vegetables)

Avoid: dishes with large amounts of butter or oil and baklava

Italian:

Look for: marinara, marsala, clam sauce and past primavera with vegetables and a small amount of oil. Simply prepared fish and chicken dishes are also good choices

Avoid: pasta stuffed with cheese or fatty meat and dishes with greasy or butter sauces

Japanese:

Look for: steamed rice, soba or udon noodles, yaki sobra (stir-fried noodles), shumai (steamed dumplings), tofu, sukiyaki, kayaku goban (vegetables and rice)

Avoid: shrimp or vegetable tempura, chicken katsu, tonkatsu (fried pork), shrimp agemono and fried tofu

Mexican:

Look for: fish, shrimp, and chicken with salsa made of tomato, chilies and onion. Order corn or flour tortillas as long as they are not deep fat fried.

Avoid: dishes with large amounts of cheese, sour cream, guacamole and refried beans cooked in lard.

Americans eat out now more than ever and this is likely not to change. Here are some tips in eating out:

Don't skip a meal on the day you are going out to eat

Eat a light snack (e.g. an apple, an orange, or a slice of low fat cheese) an hour or so before the meal thus avoiding overeating

Choose a restaurant that offers a variety of food including low fat options

Order more plant based foods - pick salads and deserts that emphasize fruits or vegetables; look for whole-grain pasta, bread, rice, and cereal

Order baked, not fried; grilled, not greasy

Ask about substitutions of lower fat, lower carbohydrate food as side dishes

Taste your food before adding salt, butter, sauces, or dressings

Order dressings on the side of your salads

Substitute healthier condiments such as mustard for mayonnaise, or pepper or lemon juice instead of salt

Resist the desire to "supersize" your meals

Make the salad your fist course with plenty of veggies and fruit

Eat slowly

Order food that requires work such as crab legs

Order water, sparkling water or mineral water with a twist of lemon - it's filling and has no calories (most diets insist on at least 8 glasses of water per day for a reason!)

Finish the main disk before you think about ordering desert

For dessert consider lower-fat, lower-calorie options such as fresh fruit, angel food cake or sherbet

About The Author
Dr. John Rumberger

I have dedicated my life to studying the heart and the blood that pumps throughout the human body. I have spent much of the last thirty years doing research and spending valuable time with patients, trying to better understand the heart.

My experience in the field is extensive, and includes achieving my doctorate in 1976 (Bio-Engineering/ Fluid Dynamics/ Applied Mathematics) from The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio, with a dissertation on, A Non-Linear Model of Coronary Artery Blood Flow.

I then continued my education into my true love, medicine, when in 1978 I became a M.D. graduating from the School of Medicine at the University of Miami, Florida.

I became an Internist and then a Cardiologist. Since then, I have pioneered how the medical field views the process of blood flow through the heart. From my appointment as professor at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, to Medical Director at the HealthWISE Wellness Diagnostic Center in Ohio I have treated patients with heart problems. Though each patient is unique, the heart in each of us works the same way.

sean@emptycanoe.com


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