10 healthy choices for dining out at a restaurant

Last week I was invited to do a ‘Lunch and Learn’ talk about ‘Healthy Lunches on the Go.’  Most of the info I provided the participants with had to do with increasing nutrition to make their home-made lunches healthier.

With how busy life is, we all know that it is challenging to bring our own lunch from home everyday.  So here are 10 tips to help you make healthy choices when dining out at a restaurant:

  1. Choose a salad or vegetables instead of French fries
  2. Choose grilled chicken over breaded and deep fried
  3. Choose chicken, turkey or fish over beef and pork
  4. Choose whole grain over white bread
  5. Choose the meal with the most vegetables
  6. Choose water over soft drinks
  7. Choose herbal tea over coffee
  8. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side
  9. Go vegetarian
  10. Skip the dessert

Any more tips? Feel free to share!

8 simple ways to lower cholesterol with food

I often have patients who are in need of extra help with cholesterol management.  There are many simple nutritional habits which can be adopted to either prevent high cholesterol or lower it after it has been diagnosed.  To learn more about cholesterol and its function, as well as how it can affect your heart health here is a great overview of the basics: http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/guide/cholesterol-basics

Here are 8 simple way to lower cholesterol through your diet:

Cholesterol Lowering Checklist

□ Eat 25 raw almonds per day (mix with walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds for variety).

□ Eat 2 tablespoons of olive oil per day.

□ Eat 4 servings of viscous (soluble) fibre per day from oats, barley, other whole grains, beans, eggplant, okra, squash, sweet potato, apples, pears, oranges, bananas, berries.

□ Eat 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed per day.

□ Eat ½ to 1 clove of raw garlic per day.

□ Eat 3 meals of fish per week.

□ Eat 1 meal with soy protein such as tofu, modified soy protein, and unsweetened soy milk per week.

□ Eat red meat only 1 time per week.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Saturated fats such as red meat, butter, dairy products, pre-packaged meals and snacks, fried foods, bakery items.
  • Refined sugar from sweetened fruit juices, candy, other desserts.
  • Unfiltered coffee, soft drinks, alcohol. 

Heart Healthy Snacks:

  • Raw vegetables and hummus or bean dip.
  • Spread almond butter on a whole grain pita and wrap a banana into it.
  • Vegetable soup with beans or barley.
  • Fruit smoothie made with unsweetened soy milk, berries, and a tablespoon of almond butter.
  • Bowl of oatmeal with fruit, cinnamon, and unsweetened soy milk.
  • Stewed apples and peaches: chop up fruit, add a little water, and cinnamon and boil in a pot.
  • Make your own trail mix of nuts, seeds and raisins.

Here’s a super cool slideshow of how to lower cholesterol through diet: http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/slideshow-lowering-cholesterol