(NC) - Canadians love to eat out. In fact on average one out of every 10 meals we consume each week comes from a restaurant. If you tallied up all of the restaurant bills across the country for one year, it would be a whopping $58 billion cheque. More and more, Canadians are also looking to make their dining out experiences healthy experiences. This is not always easy to do, but it is not impossible either. Here are some simple tips from Katie Jessop, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian to help you make healthy choices when eating out:
Ask before you order. Ask if nutrition information is available before you make your selections to make a healthy choice. Try to select dishes that are lower in sodium, fat and calories.
Go with the Guide. Keep the Food Guide in mind when you are dining out. Choose menu items that include servings from the four food groups. Undress your meal. Beware of condiments such as ketchup, relish, soy sauce, and dressing and sauces. These can be high in sodium and fat. Skip these items or ask for them on the side so you can control how much you add to your dish.
Size matters. Portions in restaurants are often large so don't finish your plate just because it is full. Ask for leftovers to be packaged up so you can take them home.
Check for Health Check. The Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check program is now available in over 700 restaurant outlets across the country. (www.healthcheck.org)