Senin, 02 November 2009

Tips for Healthy Eating at Fast Food Restaurants

Make careful menu selections pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, au gratin or in cream sauce are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats or sodium. Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats.

Drink water with your meal. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. One 32-oz Big Gulp with regular cola packs about 425 calories, so one Big Gulp can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Try adding a little lemon to your water or ordering unsweetened iced tea.

“Undress” your food. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. For example, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise. You can ask for a packet of ketchup or mustard and add it yourself, controlling how much you put on your sandwich.

Don't be afraid to special order. Many menu items would be healthy if it weren't for the way they were prepared. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask for olive oil and vinegar for your salads or order the dressing "on the side" and spoon only a small amount on at a time. If your food is fried or cooked in oil or butter, ask to have it broiled or steamed.

Watch portion size - an average fast food meal can run as high as 1000 calories or more, so choose a smaller portion size, order a side salad instead of fries, and don't supersize anything. At a typical restaurant, a single serving provides enough for two meals. Take half home or divide the portion with a dining partner. Sharing might make dessert (or something else indulgent) more of an option.

Watch your salt. Fast food restaurant food tends to be very high in sodium, a major contributor to high blood pressure. Don’t add insult to injury by adding more salt.

Avoid buffets – even seemingly healthy ones like salad bars. You'll likely overeat to get your money's worth. If you do choose buffet dining, opt for fresh fruits, salads with olive oil & vinegar or low-fat dressings, broiled entrees and steamed vegetables. Resist the temptation to go for seconds, or wait at least 20 minutes after eating to make sure you're really still hungry before going back for more.

Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat and savor each bite. Chew your food more thoroughly and avoid eating on the run. Being mindful also means stopping before you are full. It takes time for our bodies to register that we have eaten. Mindful eating relaxes you, so you digest better, and makes you feel more satisfied.

Remember the big picture – Think of eating out in the context of your whole diet. If it is a special occasion, or you know you want to order your favorite meal at a nice restaurant, make sure your earlier meals that day are extra healthy. Moderation is always key, but planning ahead can help you relax and enjoy your dining out experience while maintaining good nutrition and diet control.

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Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve health. It is important for the prevention of many chronic health risks such as: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts of all nutrients, and an adequate amount of water. Nutrients can be obtained from many different foods, so there are a wide variety of diets that may be considered healthy diets.


Protein is needed primarily for repair and growth of the human body. Protein consists of amino acids, some of which can be made from other proteins, some of which are essential amino acids. A healthy diet requires sufficient quantities of all essential amino acids. Increased requirements of amino acids occur for repair of muscles after strength training and a small amount is used for growth. Amino acid requirements are largely dependent on muscle mass; men generally require larger dietary protein intake for this reason.

Some strictly epidemiological evidence shows an increased mortality with high red meat intake.

Fat is used in the body for forming cell membranes, oxidised for energy, and can be stored by the body for later use if food intake is inadequate. Fats come in three main types: saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Trans fat, a kind of unsaturated fat found in large quantities in foods such as margarine, is now known to be harmful.

Carbohydrates are chemicals that can be broken down in the body to simple sugars like glucose, fructose. Glucose is primarily used by the body in muscles but is the primary energy source used by the brain. If an excess of carbohydrate is consumed then it is stored with a large quantity of water as glycogen in the skeletal muscles and the liver. Fructose cannot be used by the skeletal muscles, but is converted into glucose by the liver. However if large quantities of fructose are consumed, the conversion produces triglycerides which are thought not to be healthy. One major source of fructose is sucrose (table sugar), fruits also contain substantial quantities, and so should not be taken in excess.

The human body creates energy from chemical reactions (mainly oxidation) of food. Due to conservation of energy if more energy is absorbed from food, then weight gain occurs (in the form of glycogen and its associated water) and fat. Some variation in weight can also occur due to hydration levels.

Different components of the diet provide different number of net calories, roughly speaking proteins provide about 4.5 kCal, carbohydrates about 5 kCal and fats, 9.5 kCal per gram.

Research has showed that the idea of thin people having a 'fast metabolism' is false; human beings burn energy at quite predictable rates, and gain or loss of weight is mostly to do with calorie intake versus the bodies' basal metabolism (with people with more lean bodyweight burning more calories) as well as (usually to a lesser degree) activity levels; with any long-term excess being stored as fat.

Energy is also used for growth and repair.
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