Different kinds of cuisine
Japanese: The best picks are teriyaki beef, chicken, shrimp or pork; yakitori (grilled chicken skewers); noodle soups; stir-fries; and sushi. Many outlets will prepare your stir-fry without oil if you ask. Avoid tempura items: they’re battered and deep-fried, which makes them higher in fat.
Italian: Pasta with tomato sauce, vegetable soup or salad with dressing on the side are good picks here. Opt for low-fat dressing where available. The best pizza choice is vegetarian – get double vegetables instead of double cheese. Avoid garlic bread, cream-based sauces, Caesar salad, fried veal and chicken parmigiana.
Mexican: Choose chicken fajitas (hold the sour cream and cheese), enchiladas, beef soft tacos or vegetarian burritos (again, hold the high-fat toppings). You can also order a salad and dress it with salsa. Beware of high-fat nachos with cheese and guacamole.
Greek: Order a lean souvlaki or chicken kabob and a salad with dressing on the side.
Chinese: Try low-fat picks such as soups, including egg drop and wonton; mixed vegetables; steamed dim sum; steamed rice; or stir-fries (ask the server to make them without oil). Go easy on deep-fried egg rolls, chicken balls, chicken wings and fried rice.
Burger Outlets: Stick with a plain hamburger or veggie burger dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions; grilled chicken on a bun; a stuffed pita; or a wrap. Pass on the special sauces, bacon and cheese toppings. Also, note that fish sandwiches may sound healthy, but the deep-fried breading and tartar sauce they’re covered in at burger joints make them high in fat. If you’re really tempted, share a small order of fries with your shopping buddy.
Delis: The best low-fat choices are sandwiches made with turkey, chicken breast, lean corned beef, pastrami or roast beef with a dill pickle and a plain salad. Ask for a sandwich without butter or margarine (mustard, lettuce and tomatoes are healthier toppings). Pick vegetable soup or broth over creamed soup, and make sure that your salad has low-fat dressing or comes with dressing on the side.
Submarine Shops: Order a six-inch sub on a whole wheat bun with turkey, beef, chicken or seafood, lots of vegetables and low-fat mayonnaise. Avoid club subs and those with meatballs or deep-fried chicken.