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Living Well In Yalobusha County

You Can Eat Healthy While Dining Out

By Pamela Redwine

Americans love eating out. On a typical day in America in 2009, more than 130 million individuals will be foodservice patrons. Sales in 2009 are expected to reach $566 billion at over 945,000 locations. (Source:; accessed 08/09)

While home-cooked meals are better for your health and pocketbook, it is clear that many do not have or make that choice. Better restaurant menu labeling laws may be around the corner, but in the mean time here are three things you can do now to minimize the impact of salt and fat-laden food on your diet.

Know before you go.  Look online for menu nutrition facts and learn what you can order that is low in fat and salt.

Chicken and fish sandwiches, as well as salads with dressings, are often higher in fat and salt than other menu items.

A grilled plain burger and salad without dressing is often the best bet for fast food.

Use  HYPERLINK “” to help you find restaurants in your area that offer better meals. Get to know them well.

Make requests – You can often request baked fish, veggies and a baked potato without salt and with sauces on the side.

A large low-fat salad and appetizer is often a good choice when eating out.

Avoid fried food because it is high in fat and calories.

Use dining as a social experience. Eat a healthful snack before you go out so you are not gorging on food that is high in fat, sodium and calories. Keep to smaller portions or share larger ones.


Recipe of the week:

Fiesta Nibbles


1/3 cup taco sauce

2 tablespoons stick margarine, melted

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3 cups criss cross of corn and rice cereal (such as Crispix)

2 cups tiny unsalted pretzels

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Add cereals and pretzels; toss gently to coat. Add cheese; toss well.

Spread mixture evenly into a large jelly-roll or baking pan. Bake at 250 degrees  for 50 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.  Cool completely; store in an airtight container. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Per Serving: Calories 227, Protein 5g, Fat 5.4g, Carbohydrate 41.2g, fiber 2.3g, cholesterol 2mg, iron 5.1mg, sodium 474 mg; calcium 51mg

(Recipe Source: Southern Living: Light & Easy Comfort Food)

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