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Dine Out / Take Out

Dine Out / Take Out

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Healthy eating is important at every age. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified soy alternatives. When deciding what to eat or drink, choose options that are full of nutrients and limited in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Start with these tips:

Decode the menu

Look for choices that are baked, broiled, grilled, poached, steamed, boiled, or roasted to limit extra saturated fat and salt. If you aren’t sure, ask how menu items are prepared and/or if they can be prepared a different way.

Start your meal with veggies

If you start your meal with a salad or eat your vegetables first, you will feel full sooner and ensure that you get valuable vegetable nutrients.

Split your dish

When ordering food, portions can be very large. Consider sharing a meal with someone else or making two meals out of it by saving half for the next day.

Look for fruits and veggies

Pick dishes that highlight vegetables like stir-fries, veggie wraps, or kabobs. Select fruit as a side dish or for dessert.

Plan ahead and compare choices

Before you order takeout or head to a restaurant, see if menu information is available on a website. Look for choices that are lower in calories, sodium, and saturated fat.

Choose your sauce

Pick sauces made from vegetables like marinara, rather than cream or butter sauces to limit calories from saturated fat. You can ask for them on the side or for the dish to be prepared with less or no sauce.

The benefits of healthy eating add up over time, bite by bite.

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MyPlate.gov is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025