Tips for Cancer-Prevention Dining

healthy_dining_mediumimage credit: Good Search

I make fish tacos at home and love them. I tend to use bass, halibut or cod with lots of shredded cabbage, some hot sauce and a blop of plain yogurt wrapped in flat bread. Recently, I was taken to a Mexican restaurant for brunch. I ordered the fish taco combo. What a surprise when a huge deep-fried pice of fish took up most of my plate. “Deep fried” hadn’t even crossed my mind, and it wasn’t written up in the menu as such. I scraped away the breaded shell until discovering a tiny piece of fish.

I’m conscious of what, and how much I eat. Here are some healthy tips you may want to consider before eating out, where it can be more difficult to keep things in moderation.

  • Drink a glass of low-sodium vegetable juice before starting your meal (or before you leave for the restaurant.) It’s healthy, and will fill you up a bi
  • When you have something like ice cream, an alcoholic beverage or a deep-fried item, “trade off” by passing the bread, chips, or mashed potatoes.  (Or, if you’re like me, you’ll skip the ice cream and alcohol so I can have my carbs in peace.)
  • Eat the good-for-you-stuff. I must admit, I do not like restaurant veggies, but I do still eat them, as small as the portion of them is. They’re over cooked, sitting in butter, and they just don’t taste right. I’ve heard some restaurants add sugar to them. I’ll usually eat an apple before going to a restaurant. (That’s one of those “trade-offs” mentioned above.) Other ways to eat the good stuff is to look for dishes with fruit, whole grains, lean proteins. Some include fish, chicken, tofu, cottage cheese and beans. Beware, many restaurants, especially Mexican use lard in their refried beans, and some other beans are high in calories. No need to be paranoid, just be conscious of your choices.
  • Share your meal, or take half of it home. NO BODY needs an 18 oz piece of steak, or fish for that matter. Three ounces of protein a meal is what you need.
  • Skip the appetizer, or share it. Or, make it your meal with a salad or soup.
  • If the menu lists the calorie and fat count, read it. Fat from calories shouldn’t be more than one-third of the total calorie count. If calories per serving are 300, fat from calories should be less than 100. Here are some numbers from the American Institute for Cancer research (AICR). Aim for your meal to be 400-500 calories.  (If you Supersize your meal at one of those take-out places, you’re almost at your entire daily calorie count of 2,000!) In general, avoid trans fat. Keep saturated fat to 20 grams or less a day, or at least aim for low numbers. Sodium should be kept to 600 milligrams or less per meal. (I find this per meal number high.) Fiber: do you get 25 grams per day? Most people don’t.
  • Eat slowly. Chew your food. Chew, then talk; not both at the same time. If the music is loud or fast, you’ll have to be more aware of your eating pace.

These are just a few of many tips you can incorporate into a healthy, cancer-preventative, social lifestyle.



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