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Eat Smart Month

Eat Smart Month . (WPEC)

Parties, family gatherings and dinners out it can make it difficult to eat healthy this holiday season.

Dr. Augusto E. Villa the Medical Director of Invasive cardiology at Mount Sinai Heart at Jupiter Medical Center joined CBS12 to promote heart health.

The American Heart Association has designated November as Eat Smart Month. Locally the American Heart Association works with Mount Sinai Heart at Jupiter Medical Center to promote heart health.

While it's true that meals prepared at home tend to be healthier, sometimes you just need an evening out. You can find good options away from home if you know what to look for.


SEARCH IT: This is the information age. Look up the menu and decide what you want before you go. Lots of restaurants and fast food chains now have nutrition information on their websites.

LOOK FOR CLUES:

The menu may have "healthy" designations or symbols, or key words in the names of some items (like light, fresh, fit, vegetarian, skinny, etc.) which indicate they could be a better choice.

Choose healthier meats and proteins, like fish, chicken, and beans. If you eat red meat, choose lean and extra-lean cuts and trim off as much fat as you can before cooking.

Add color to your meals with fruits and vegetables. And they all count: Fresh, frozen, canned and dried are all good choices, just watch out for excess salt and added sugars.

USE YOUR WORDS:

Sure, nobody wants to be "that guy," but it's OK to ask your server or the chef about ingredients, preparation methods, or substitutions.

Make healthy substitutions when you can.

Ask about butter, solid fats and cooking oils used in the kitchen, and request that healthier nontropical vegetable oils be used instead. Swap the bad fats for healthy ones your body actually needs!

Ask whether side vegetables are seasoned. Ask for vegetables to be without salt or butter.

Request that butter, cheese, toppings, salad dressings, sauces and gravies be served on the side so you control how much you use.

JUST SAY NO:

Resist the upsell and freebies. Yeah, we know the cocktails and appetizers can be tempting, but just remember they can add fat, sodium, sugar and calories - not to mention expense - that you don't need. And while you're at it, you don't have to accept the "complimentary" bread and butter or chips and salsa!

COLOR YOUR PLATE:

The kiddie crayons on the table aren't the only way to add color to your meal! Look for colorful fruits and vegetables you can add as sides or substitutes for other ingredients in your dish.

YOU CAN HALF IT ALL:

If the portions are large, share an entree or set aside half to take home before you start eating.


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