Tag Archives: dining out

Are Your Friends and Family Making You Fat? Maybe, Say Top Docs

By Team Best Life

It’s a simple fact: Your family, friends, and coworkers can make or break your attempts to eat healthfully or lose weight. In fact, a recent review study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that participants who were told that others were making a low-calorie or high-calorie food choice were more likely to make a similar food choice.

friends eating

You know how it is when one of your dining companions offers to split an order of potato skins or a slice of chocolate cake? You feel pressure to agree, even if you’re not in the mood for it. Likewise, when your tablemate orders a salad with grilled chicken, you’re less inclined to order the deluxe cheeseburger.

Ideally, you’d use your own internal cues to know when to put your fork down. But it can be easy to get distracted, especially when you’re dining out or with others. Use the tips below to eat well no matter where you eat or who’s at your table.


Sushi Survival Guide: Healthiest and Unhealthiest Choices for Your Diet

If I had to pick one food that I go to as my favorite Friday night welcome-the-weekend treat, it would be sushi. Sure, I love pizza and any number of other diet-crashing foods, but when it comes down to it, sushi is my favorite.

The good news is that sushi happens to be a healthy option… usually. Even with a cuisine centered around lean fish, there are many ways that you can make your meal a caloric nightmare.

The general rule to making healthy choices at your favorite sushi restaurant is to keep it simple. As the sushi dish gets more ingredients, the likelihood that your meal will be high in calories is much greater.

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular sushi recipes and the corresponding nutritional values. Remember, these are estimates since every restaurant will prepare their sushi slightly different: (more…)

Best and Worst Health Products of 2010 on the Dr. Oz Show

Tune in this Monday, November 22 to the Dr. Oz Show when Dr. Oz gives you a list of his best and worst health products of 2010.

This past year saw a surge of new diet and health products hitting grocery shelves and health food stores. On the show, Dr. Oz gives you the black and white picture of just how effective these products were at holding up to their health claims. Learn about the gold stars (and the lumps of coal) in supplements, diet pills, metabolism boosters, weight loss secrets, packaged foods, snacks and more.

Plus, learn if you should order this or that when dining out when the best and worst restaurant foods are also revealed.


Do Heavy Parents Forecast Obese Kids?

A study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points implies that having two overweight parents substantially raises a child’s risk of becoming obese. More than ever, an overweight mother seems to play a particularly important role.

The results are based on a five-year study of more than 4,000 families in the United Kingdom who took part in an annual national health survey. A study nurse measured each participant’s weight and height, and parents and children were classified as normal-weight, overweight, obese or severely obese based on their body mass index.


Healthy Chinese Food is Possible

Is it possible to have healthy Chinese food? Just because you see a couple broccoli bits in that dish does not mean it’s healthy. In fact, Chinese takeout is among the worst offenders of the healthy eating guidelines; saturated fat and salt are through the roof with some dishes.

Case in point: an order of General Tso’s Chicken can set you back 1,600 calories, 3150 mg sodium (exceeds 2100 mg per day limit) and 59 grams of fat (11 grams saturated – heart clogging kind – about a day’s worth).

But don’t fret just yet, maybe you can have your fortune cookie and eat it too. Watch this video to learn how you can have healthy Chinese takeout.


How to Dine Out: Pub Food

pretzel and beerWith football, basketball and hockey season in full swing there are plenty of opportunities to get together with friends at your local pub or watering hole for dinner and drinks while watching the games. Menus at these types of restaurants aren’t typically diet friendly with appetizers and entrées encompassing mostly fried options. The key to navigating this type of menu, and making your choices, is to mix and match items you see on the menu. Try the rice from one dish matched with the grilled chicken from another dish; don’t feel you have to stick to how the meals are laid out in front of you.

Pub food recommendations and tips: (more…)

How to Dine Out: Chinese Food

Chinese food is a genre of food with various flavors and sauces that can be very yummy, but also pack a punch in terms of calories. Depending on where you go for your Chinese food, you can in many instances find buffet options and quick serve restaurants in your local mall or shopping center. Beware of buffets, as with any genre of food, because this type of eating provides too many temptations for over-filling the plate and repeat visits.chinese shrimp

Popular dishes such as Sesame Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken and General Tso’s Chicken should not be kept on your list of go-to options. These types of meals are fried – a major offense right off the bat and then covered in sauces that are full of sugar and in some cases MSG, which is not something you want to be ingesting. Check out my newsletter article from June 2008 where I highlight the negative effects of MSG. (more…)

How to Dine Out: Italian Food

italian foodNavigating the menu at an Italian restaurant can pose many challenges and if you are the type to shy away from carbs then it can become that much harder. I am a big supporter of well-balanced meals, which entails a mixture of protein, carbohydrates and fat. These types of meal combinations can be found in many areas on the menu at an Italian restaurant, but it’s easy to get tripped up with all cheesy goodness that is woven throughout as well.

From pizza to parmesan and even baked ziti there are some pitfalls that if avoided will help keep your dining experience a yummy, but healthy one, too. (more…)

How to Dine Out: Thai Food

thai spring rollsI already had a love for Thai food years ago, but deepened that love on my honeymoon, when I went to Thailand. Hotels featuring pad Thai at breakfast was like a dream come true, but of course I wasn’t watching my calorie intake on the trip and wasn’t focusing on which entrees were healthier than others.

While not all Thai food utilizes coconut milk, it certainly can play a large roll, especially in the famous curry dishes. Coconut milk is loaded with saturated fat (not the good fat) with 45 grams per one cup, but has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. My first tip here is to go light on any dishes made with coconut milk or inquire to see if they have a lighter version of coconut milk that your meal can be made with instead. If selecting a curry dish, stick with leaner protein options like chicken. (more…)

How to Dine Out: Mexican

Mexican food can certainly be one of the more challenging cuisines when eating out, as there aren’t many low-fat items to choose from, and several dishes are full of fried foods. Add on calorie-filled margaritas and tortilla chips to start and you are already filling up on unneeded fat and calories before having even ordered your main course.strawberry salsa

Dishes at Mexican restaurants are usually on the larger side with the addition of rice and beans accompanying the meal. To help prevent overeating, I would first suggest ordering a house salad, which should entail tomatoes, cucumbers, corn and some avocado for your healthy fat. This starter salad will also help in the avoidance of eating the full entree when it arrives or you can ask for half the portion to be put in a to-go container.

Some terms that you should look to avoid on the menu are: fried, crispy, refried, breaded and cheese. Instead look for items that are baked or grilled and request sauces on the side so you can control the amount on your food. (more…)