Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than making sure you are taking care of your heart? February is American Heart Month, and Duke Raleigh Hospital wants to make sure you are taking all the necessary steps to keep your heart pumping like it should! With the help of the American Heart Association, we have compiled some healthy and practical tips for dining out which could come in handy for a Valentine’s date or year round!
Dining out the heart healthy way:
- Look at the menu before you go to the restaurant and decide what you will order beforehand. This will give you the opportunity to look up the nutrition facts and help you resist the temptation to order something high in calories or fat!
- Resist those appetizers! This also includes the yummy bread and butter the waiter brings you before you order. These items are loaded with extra fat, sodium, and calories.
- Ask your server if healthier substitutes are available. A lot of times you can substitute fries or mashed potatoes (which are usually loaded with butter) for some green veggies that are high in fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals.
- When looking at the menu, here are some key words to avoid: fried, au gratin, crispy, scalloped, pan-fried, sautéed, buttered, creamed, or stuffed. These words usually imply that the food has high levels of fat and calories.
- Here are some keywords to look for when ordering your meal: steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, poached, or roasted.
- When it comes to dessert, especially on Valentine’s Day, we know you probably want to indulge. Desserts are fine, but the most important thing to remember is portion control! Be aware of your calorie intake for the day and consider how to enjoy your favorite dessert without over-doing it. [A great way to show your date that you care is to ask them to split the dessert with you. They'll never have to know it's for your own heart!]
We hope these tips can help you enjoy your night out on Valentine’s Day without compromising your heart health! It is very possible to make healthy choices while dining out, and being aware of tips like these make it that much easier!