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Eating healthy ethnic food

Corinne Powell

Corinne Powell

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Updated: November 11, 2012 6:02AM



Trying different ethnic cuisines to give you a taste treat is possible while counting calories and fat. Many ethnic cuisines offer lots of low-fat, low-calorie choices.

So if you want to eat healthy and still have lots of different choices, take a taste adventure with ethnic foods. Here’s a sample of healthy food choices (lower in calories and fat) and terms to look for when making your selection:

Chinese: Zheng (steamed); jum (poached); kao (roasted); shao (barbecued); steamed rice; and dishes without MSG added.

Italian: Red sauces; primavera (no cream); piccata (lemon); sun-dried tomatoes; crushed tomatoes; lightly sautéed; and grilled.

Mexican: Spicy chicken; rice and black beans; salsa or picante; and soft corn tortillas.

Eat healthy when dining out

Regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, you can eat healthy when dining out, if you know how.

So, if you’re treating yourself to a meal out, here are some tips to help make it a dining experience that is both tasty and good for you.

ASK!

Will the restaurant:

• Serve margarine rather than butter with the meal?

• Serve fat-free (skim) milk rather than whole milk or cream?

• Trim visible fat from poultry or meat?

• Leave all butter, gravy or cream sauces off a dish?

• Serve salad dressing on the side?

• Accommodate special requests?

• Use less cooking oil when cooking?

ACT!

Select foods that are:

• Steamed in their own juice (au jus)

• Broiled

• Baked

• Roasted

• Poached

• Lightly sautéed

Healthy food shopping

Using a shopping list and keeping a well-stocked kitchen can help reduce the time you spend cooking healthy meals. Read the labels as you shop, and pay attention to serving size and servings per container. Compare the total calories in similar products and choose the lowest calorie ones.

So, shop for quick, low-fat food items, and fill your kitchen cupboards with a supply of lower calorie basics like the following:

• Fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese

• Light or diet margarine

• Egg whites/egg substitutes

• Whole-wheat sandwich breads, bagels, pita bread, English muffins

• Soft corn tortillas, low-fat flour tortillas

• Low-fat, low-sodium crackers

• Plain cereal, dry or cooked

• Rice, pasta

• White-meat chicken or turkey (remove skin)

• Fish and shellfish (not battered)

• Beef: round, sirloin, chuck arm, loin and extra-lean ground beef

• Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin

• Dry beans and peas

• Fresh, frozen, canned fruits in light syrup or juice

• Fresh, frozen or no-salt-added canned vegetables

• Low-fat or fat-free salad dressings

• Mustard and catsup

• Jam, jelly or honey

• Herbs and spices

• Salsa



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