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Tips for Eating Out the Heart Healthy Way

Download Tips for Eating Out the Heart Healthy Way pdf document (30k) handout.

You don't have to give up eating fast foods to eat right. Here are some tips on how to make heart healthy choices at fast food restaurants.

  • Sandwiches
    • Order sandwiches without mayonnaise, tartar sauce, or special sauces. Or try mustard or low-fat mayonnaise. Ask for vegetables to be added to your sandwich.
    • Order small, plain hamburgers instead of deluxe sandwiches.
    • Order sandwiches made with lean roast beef or turkey. Chicken salad and tuna salad made with regular mayonnaise are high in fat.
    • Choose grilled chicken sandwiches instead of breaded chicken sandwiches.
  • Main dishes
    • Choose soft tacos or corn tortillas filled with chicken or lean beef, vegetables, and salsa.
      • Ask for low-fat cheese and low-fat sour cream.
      • Ask for cheese and sour cream to be served on the side, and use only a small amount.
    • Choose rotisserie-style chicken rather than fried chicken. Always remove the skin, and don't eat it.
    • Order pizza with vegetable toppings like peppers, mushrooms, or onions. Ask for half the usual amount of cheese.
  • Side dishes
    • Share a small order of french fries instead of eating a large order by yourself.
    • Ask that no salt be added to your serving.
    • Order a baked potato instead of fries.
      • Try salsa or vegetables as a potato topping.
      • Ask that high-fat toppings be served on the side, and use fewer toppings.
    • Use low-calorie, low-fat salad dressing on salad. Bring your own if the restaurant does not offer a low-fat dressing. You can buy packets at some stores. Ask that dressings be served on the side, and use less.
    • Order a green vegetable or salad instead of two or more starches (such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, and corn).
  • Beverages
    • Choose water, 100 percent fruit juice, or fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, rather than a soft drink or a milkshake.
    • If you really want to have a soft drink, order a small one.
  • Desserts
    • Buy a small fat-free frozen yogurt instead of cookies or pies.

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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Your Heart, Your Life, A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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