Food… it’s an art, whether you love American, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese or Italian. It brings families and friends together not just over holidays but after long workdays or short weekends. Dining out creates memories, provides entertainment and pleasure.
Because we spend so much time dining out, let’s make sure we don’t overkill our hearts! Literally.
We want to eat healthy. But how can we do it when portion sizes are huge and our salads are really soups when the dressing drips down from our forks as we take a bite. Do we really care that the pasta was tossed in butter when it tastes so good? Don’t answer that!
Knowing heart-healthy food choices is a start. Foregoing the extra bread is a no brainer. So, do it! Asking questions about the menu and standing firm behind your healthier choices is a must.
Everyone’s food needs are different. Some need to worry about salt intake, some sugar and others need to worry about calories. Regardless of who you are, avoiding certain dangerous foods may help your heart stay healthy.
“Chinese food can be a hidden salt mine,” said Sari Greaves, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association . Ask for sauce on the side (this could apply to salad dressings too). Try steamed chicken, seafood or tofu with veggies. Stir-fried dishes are fine since they are cooked quickly. Bur crispy, deep-fried or double-sautéed is a no-no.
Try bread with olive oil not butter. A shrimp cocktail might be a better alternative than salami and cheese anti-pasta. If you absolutely have to have cheese, sprinkle it on top of a dish. Avoid deep-fried or butter cooked meats or seafood. Grilled, broiled or poached seafood with a small order of pasta and garlic sounds delicious. Adding tomato sauce or oil is fine instead of cream or cheese.
Sushi means raw. It’s simple simplicity! Try salmon, tuna, mackerel or halibut and avoid tempura-style rolls.
We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.