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Grilled pork tenderloin with Asian sauce

Tipsheet: Eating Healthy Ethnic Food

Trying different ethnic cuisines to give yourself 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:


  • Zheng (steamed)
  • Jum (poached)
  • Kao (roasted)
  • Shao (barbecued)
  • Steamed rice
  • Dishes without MSG added


  • Red sauces
  • Primavera (no cream)
  • Piccata (lemon)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Lightly sauteed
  • Grilled


  • Spicy chicken
  • Rice and black beans
  • Salsa or picante
  • Soft corn tortillas


Healthy Weight Tip

Ask your server how the menu items are prepared. Healthy substitutions like using a red sauce instead of an Alfredo (white, creamy) sauce in Italian dishes are easy to make.

Looking for tips on how to order healthy foods when dining out?

cover image of Aim for a Healthy Weight Pocket Guide to Eating Healthy on the GoThe Aim for a Healthy Weight Pocket Guide to Eating Healthy on the Go features tips on ordering at a variety of American and ethnic restaurants. Its portable size makes it easy to carry in a purse or bag. 

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