Saturday, July 13, 2019

Healthy Eating at Ethnic Restaurants

Manti from Afghanistan
Manti from Afghanistan 
To keep sodium, calories, fat and cholesterol under control, follow these YES and NO tips for six popular ethnic cuisines, whether dining in or ordering takeout.


是 Shi (yes)
Hot and sour soups and steamed or stir-fried dishes are good menu choices. Select dishes with low-fat proteins (tofu, poultry, fish) and lots of veggies. Steamed white rice is OK, but brown rice is healthier if available.
不用, 谢谢 Bù yòng, xiè xiè (no, thank you)
Avoid fatty or fried items such as spareribs, egg rolls, wontons and fried rice. Request low-sodium soy sauce for the table, or ask for all sauces “on the side.” Remind the server that you would like your order prepared without added oil, salt or monosodium glutamate (MSG).


Request your salad with dressing on the side. Roasted poultry, steamed shellfish or poached fish are delicious healthy choices. Consider sauces made from a wine or tomato base. The terms to look for are “Bordelaise” or “à la Provençal.”
Many French sauces are high in fat: béarnaise, béchamel, hollandaise. For the same reason, avoid croissants, pâté, and dishes such as French onion soup that are covered with cheese.


ναι Nai
Greek salad is generally healthy. Poached or baked fish or chicken kebabs broiled on a spit are great choices when cooked with tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic (“plaki”). “Psari plaki” is Greek-style baked fish.
όχι Ochi
Avoid high-sodium anchovies, feta cheese and olives. Some traditional Greek dishes are made with large amounts of butter or oil. There is a reason why “baba ghanoush” is supposed to have killed the sultan! Desserts such as “baklava” made with phyllo dough, butter, honey and nuts are also diet dangers.


Simple Italian fish and chicken dishes are good menu choices. You may also enjoy pasta with clam sauce, tomato sauce with garlic and onions (“marinara”), wine-based sauce (“Marsala”) or “primavera” with lots of fresh vegetables.
Veal “scaloppini” and “parmigiana” are both cooked with Parmesan cheese and contain added fat. You will want to avoid dishes with butter or cream sauces, and pastas stuffed with cheese or fatty meats.


はい Hai
Select from these healthy Japanese dishes: “kayaku gohan” (vegetables and rice), “shumai” (steamed dumplings), soba (buckwheat) or udon (thick wheat) noodles, steamed rice, “sukiyaki” (hot pot beef and vegetables), most tofu dishes, “yakisoba” (stir-fried noodles), and “yakitori” (skewered chicken teriyaki).
ノー Īe
These Japanese dishes are not as healthy: fried tofu, “tempura” (battered, deep-fried seafood or vegetables), “tonkatsu” (breaded deep-fried pork), “tori katsu” (panko chicken), or shrimp “agemono” (deep-fried).


Order grilled chicken, fish or shrimp with a salsa made of tomato, chilies and onion. Ask for soft, not fried, corn tortillas which are lower in both calories and fat than flour tortillas. Beans and rice are healthy side dishes.
That appetizer bowl of chips with guacamole adds many calories and large amounts of fat to your meal. Skip extra cheese and sour cream with the entree. Ask that your dishes be prepared without added lard or other fats.

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