Who doesn’t love to go out to dinner? But if you’re trying to watch your calories or just trying to eat healthy, eating out can be a weighty ordeal. Giant portion sizes, oil-drenched vegetables, and bottomless bread baskets, dining out and healthy eating don’t always go hand-in-hand.
Now there is a handy new online tool created by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) with partial funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HealthyDiningFinder.com provides you with nutritional information on restaurants that, in many cases, is not available anywhere else. The website is also meant to encourage chefs and cooks all around the country to create healthy meals that emphasize fresh vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
Here’s how it works: You select either a restaurant or your location and a price range for how much you want to spend on a meal. You then receive a list of HealthyDiningFinder.com participating restaurants and their corresponding menu items that meet certain nutritional criteria. This criteria includes a host of things. For entrees, they must include a lean protein, whole grains or fruits and vegetables, must have 750 calories or less, 25 grams of fat or less and 8 grams or less of this fat can be saturated. The calorie and fat guidelines for appetizers are similar, but smaller.
HealthyDiningFinder.com isn’t just an all-inclusive list of the nutritional data in every item on the menu. Rather, it selects dishes for you that are healthy so that you don’t have to think about what to order. The team behind this program consists of very qualified registered dietitians whose life’s passion is encouraging you to eat healthier. Just be aware that since restaurants voluntarily choose to have their dishes analyzed by HealthyDiningFinder.com, a specific restaurant that you want to eat at may not be listed on the website.
If you are committed to choosing options that are flavorful and healthy when you dine out, then HealthyDiningFinder.com is a great resource for you.