Japanese? Greek? Mexican? What do I order?

Here are some ideas for what to choose at specific types of restaurants you may visit:

Diner/Breakfast: Egg white omelet prepared with cooking spray (no butter) with your choice of non-starchy vegetables; side green salad or steamed vegetables; 100% whole grain toast with optional 1 teaspoon soft margarine; fresh fruit

Japanese: Miso soup, 4 oz. fish (sashimi) ; green salad, dressing on side, and steamed vegetables w/ low sodium soy sauce; limit to 1 six-piece California roll (or other flavor) with ginger, low sodium soy sauce, and wasabi (watch extra sauces—often mayonnaise-based); avoid the words “spicy, dynamite, tempura, and crunchy”; edamame (steamed soybeans); yosenabe (seafood and veggies in broth); su udon (hot noodles and broth); sumashi wan (clear soup with tofu/shrimp)

Italian: Grilled lean meat/seafood (share if portion is larger than 6 oz); side of vegetables; seafood in marinara sauces; fresh salads; grilled vegetables; primavera (with garden vegetables); marsala (wine sauce); share pasta dishes or order a side order of pasta only; request whole grain if available

Indian: request no ghee (butter), avoid: coconut oil/milk, kandhari, malai, korma, samosa (fried), pakori (deep-fried) thick cheese pudding, and honey pastries; choose: gobhi matar tamatar (cauliflower with peas/tomatoes); matar pulao (rice pilaf with peas), pulkas, nann, chapati kulcha (low-fat breads), salads/vegetables with yogurt dressing, mulligatawny (chicken) or del rasam (lentil) soups; tandoori (grilled), vindoori (marinated/braised), or tikka (roasted) dishes; vegetable or dal based curries; papadum/papad (lentil wafers);

Mexican: Steak, chicken, shrimp, or fish fajitas without butter, 1-3 corn tortillas, salsa, pico de gallo, cilantro, jalapenos, peppers, onions, tomatoes, red sauces/green sauces, small amount of guacamole, no cheese or sour cream, black beans instead of pinto beans, fresh garden salad; remove chip basket from table and request bell peppers for dipping

Cajun: boiled/grilled seafood (crawfish/shrimp/fish); creole/jambalaya dishes, turkey or roast beef Po-Boy sandwiches, red beans and rice without sausage; request sauces/gravies on the side; avoid fried dishes

Chinese: steamed chicken, shrimp, or tofu with vegetables and sauce on the side (drizzle 1-2 tablespoons) ; ½ cup steamed (not fried) brown rice (100 cal); request “little oil” and no MSG on any stir-fried dishes; wonton/egg drop/hot and sour soup; steamed dumplings; portions are HUGE—share!

Steakhouse: Small portion of lean cuts (London broil, filet mignon, round, flank, sirloin, tenderloin without butter, side of steamed broccoli and/or asparagus, green salad (dressing on side), tomato/onion salad, baked potato or rice

BBQ: poultry with skin removed; kid’s size pulled pork sandwich, green beans, baked potato with a drizzle of BBQ sauce

Seafood: 4 oz. steamed seafood of your choice with double order of steamed vegetables (no butter), side green salad; baked potato with salsa or hot sauce
Pub/Bar: Large salad with lean protein, baked potato with salsa; shrimp cocktail; celery sticks and wing sauce

Café/Bistro: half turkey or roast beef sandwich without cheese/mayo; broth-based soups, large vegetable salads with light dressing, fruit salads (watch high calorie toppings such as nuts, cheese, croutons, bacon, dressing)

Family Restaurants: Boiled/baked, grilled/blackened items; veggie burgers; salads with low-fat dressing; broth-based soups with veggies; steamed shrimp; baked potato/rice without gravy; greens without lard/salt pork; sautéed veggies; nonfat frozen yogurt; Look for heart-healthy/low-fat designations
on menu

Fast Food: Salad with chicken (no other toppings), small chili with side salad; grilled chicken sandwich; baked chips; apple slices; low fat yogurt; baked potato with salsa or ketchup/mustard; low fat/fat free milk

French: Steamed mussels, salad with dressing on side; French onion soup without cheese, sauces on side; lightly sautéed vegetables, fruit for dessert

Pizza: thin crust with veggies, request less cheese if possible; large vegetable salad with light dressing or oil/vinegar (small amount of oil); meat toppings add tons of saturated “artery-clogging” fat and sodium

Greek: Tzaziki (yogurt dip), baba ghanoush (eggplant dip), hummus, torato (cold vegetable yogurt soup), broiled/grilled meat, chicken, seafood, kebabs, souvlaki (grilled lamb), fish in plaki sauce (tomato/garlic), dolmas (steamed grape leaves); Greek salad with less feta and dressing on the side; couscous, bulgur, pita

Vegetarian/Health Food: fat free/low fat granola; salad with low fat/fat free dressing; low fat/fat free mayonnaise on sandwiches and in sandwich fillings, mustard, low fat yogurt-based dishes; choose avocado instead of cheese/mayonnaise

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