Eating Out and the “What Should I Order?” Question


Ever run into trouble when you are trying to eat healthy and limit your fast food intake? For example, your friend is having a party and invited you to go out to eat. Or you might be a student on the go with no time to pack a lunch. Do not worry! I have some tips that will keep you covered the next time you eat out.


Everyone is faced with the question “what should I order?” while eating out. People often wonder what is healthy on a menu and what is not. For example, is fried fish healthy because it is fish? Is it okay to order french fries because potatoes are vegetables? Apples are healthy, so is it okay to order that apple pie? Unfortunately, these are not the healthiest options. But you can follow these easy tips to choose healthier meals the next time you go out:

  • Meat and dairy
    • Choose baked or lightly grilled meat instead of fried.
    • Try to choose low-fat dairy options (like skimmed milk instead of whole milk).
  • Vegetables
    • Choose baked or lightly grilled vegetables instead of fried.
    • Ask for extra vegetables on your sandwich instead of extra cheese.
  • Salad
    • Add as many vegetables and fruits as you would like.
    • Limit the cheese on your salad.
    • Choose to add healthy meats (baked fish, chicken, turkey, etc.) instead of red meat options (beef and pork, including bacon).
    • Ask for a low fat dressing or simple vinaigrette (olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and herbs) instead of salad dressing.
    • Ask for dressing on the side rather than directly on the salad. This way you can limit the amount of dressing on your salad.
  • Drinks and beverages
    • Unsweetened beverages instead of sweetened beverages.
    • Sweeten beverages with honey or stevia instead of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
    • Choose water, low-fat milk, or 100% juice instead of pop or soda.
    • Add low-fat milk to your coffee or tea instead of creamer
  • Sweets and desserts
    • Choose fruits rather than sugary treats.
    • Choose low-fat yogurt topped with fruit, instead of ice-cream.
    • Choose baked treats rather than fried treats.
    • Ask for sugar free or fat free options.

Hopefully these tips will help you keep on track with your healthy eating goal. Good Luck!

About Catie Martin

Catie Martin, LMSW is the Corner Health Center's in-house improv master and therapist extraordinaire. Little known fact: therapists with a sense of humor are better than therapists without a sense of humor.

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