Monday, August 9, 2010

Slim Pickings

By Monique Ryan, MS, RD

Lose up to 9 lbs. a year, easy!

Don't let dining out stall your fat-burning goals. Whether you're in the mood for Italian, Mexican or even fast food, there's always a cleaner option on the menu. Avoid gobs of hidden fat and over-the-top portions with these fat-saving meal swaps.

1. Spaghetti and Meatballs will most likely contain a fatty cut of beef that can tally up to 80 grams of fat per serving. Instead, opt for a Seafood Pasta tossed with olive oil, garlic and herbs. It's virtuallly free of saturated fat. Instead, the fats are polyunsaturated, the heart healthy kind.

2. Nachos Deluxe have a hefty dose of salt and 37 grams of fat per 11 ounce order. Blame the beef, cheese, fried chips, guacamole and sour cream for all of that unnecessary fat and sodium. Try Pico de Gallo (aka Mexican Salsa) instead. Use finely chopped tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and cilantro-which are all fantastic fat-burning foods.

3. Fried Crab Wontons, found in Chinese and Thai cuisine, pack in a whopping 36 grams of fat that you don't need. Steamed Vegetable Spring Rolls, however, are made with steamed rice paper reducing the fat by more than half. 2 fiber-rich rolls have only 12 grams of fat.

4. Fried and Breaded Fish Sandwich may seem healthy because of the fish, but the added batter bumps up the fat content to 18 grams per serving. A veggie wrap can be an obvious choice but most fast-food wraps use fat-laden sauces. Nix the mayo, and opt for low-fat mustard and pickles for flavor. Add chicken for protein to stay full longer.

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