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Nutrition in the Fast Lane. Sandra Bastin, PhD, RD University of Kentucky. Today’s Healthier Choice is Tomorrow’s Better Health!. America’s Eating Out Habits Eating Out Safely Restaurant Eater’s Tip List Sizing Up Salad Bars Quick Service Foods Eating Out Ethnic Style.

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Nutrition in the fast lane

Nutrition in the Fast Lane

Sandra Bastin, PhD, RD

University of Kentucky

Today s healthier choice is tomorrow s better health
Today’s Healthier Choice is Tomorrow’s Better Health!

  • America’s Eating Out Habits

  • Eating Out Safely

  • Restaurant Eater’s Tip List

  • Sizing Up Salad Bars

  • Quick Service Foods

  • Eating Out Ethnic Style

America s eating out habits
America’s Eating Out Habits

  • NRA estimates Americans eat out four time a week - or about 200 meals a year.

  • Foodservice receives about 44% of every dollar consumers spent.

America s eating out habits1
America’s Eating Out Habits

  • Fat contributed to 31.5% of calories in home foods.

  • Fat contributed to 37.6% in away-from-home foods.

  • The fiber content of away-from-home-foods was 25% less than that of home foods.

America s eating out habits2
America’s Eating Out Habits

  • The calcium content of away-from-home foods was more than 20% below recommended.

  • The iron content of away-from-home foods for teenage girls was 29% below recommended.

Did you know
Did You Know?

  • a do-it-yourself salad often has more calories than a deluxe burger, fries and a shake?

  • a quick service chicken or fish sandwich may be higher in fat than a hamburger?

  • pasta with a tomato-based sauce usually has fewer calories than a hamburger?

  • at your request many restaurants will do-it-your-way?

Eating out safely
Eating Out Safely!

  • Check for cleanliness.

  • Check temperature at salad bar.

  • Food bars and displays should have a sneeze guard or hood.

  • Avoid eating raw meat.

  • Check your burgers.

Restaurant eater s tip list
Restaurant Eater’s Tip List

  • Plan Ahead.

  • Think about the whole day’s food choices.

  • Avoid skipping breakfast or lunch.

  • Patronize restaurants with menu variety.

  • Try ethnic food.

  • Have it your way!

  • Learn to speak the language.

Menu language
Menu Language

  • Less Fat: baked, braised, broiled, cooked in it own juices, grilled, poached, roasted, steamed, stir-fried

  • More Fat: au gratin, breaded, buttered, creamed, crispy, fried, pastry, prime, rich, sauteed, scalloped, with gravy or sauce

  • More Sodium: barbecued, cured, in broth, marinated, pickled, smoked, teriyaki

Restaurant eater s tip list1
Restaurant Eater’s Tip List

  • Have it your way! Ask questions.

  • Find out portion sizes.

  • Order “off the menu” to meet needs.

  • Follow the Food Guide Pyramid.

  • Order a taste adventure.

  • Pass on all-you-can-eat specials, buffets and unlimited salad bars.

Restaurant eater s tip list2
Restaurant Eater’s Tip List

  • Order what you want, despite what others choose.

  • Choose an appetizer as a main course.

  • If you choose a high-fat entree, balance it with low-fat choices for the rest of the meal.

  • Send it back if it isn’t right.

  • Have the tortillas or bread removed if you nibble.

Restaurant eater s tip list3
Restaurant Eater’s Tip List

  • Eat slowly. Stop eating before you feel too full.

  • Limit alcoholic beverages.

  • Pass or share dessert.

  • Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Nutrition in the fast lane

Regular Salad Dressings



Bacon Bits


Chow Mein Noodles


Potato Salad

Pasta Salad

Macaroni Salad

Creamy Soups

Cheese & Crackers


Sizing Up Salad BarsExcessive calories, fat or sodium don’t come from lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers or other fresh vegetables.

To control salad bar calories
To Control Salad Bar Calories

  • Enjoy plenty of vegetables, legumes and fresh fruit.

  • For protein, add legumes, lean meat, turkey, crabmeat and cheese.

  • Go easy on high fat toppers and side salads.

  • Use a small salad plate.

  • Try a low-fat or fat-free dressing; A splash of flavored vinegar or lemon; Or plain.

Quick service foods
Quick Service Foods

  • Be aware of the trend “big,” “deluxe,” or “super” size.

  • Go easy on snacks.

  • Balance your food choices during the day.

  • Remember moderation and variety.

  • Go easy on condiments on salads and sandwiches.

Quick service foods1
Quick Service Foods

  • For fried foods, pay attention to the oil used, but rely on mostly grilled, broiled, steamed or microwaved fast foods.

  • Split your order.

Quick service foods2
Quick Service Foods

  • About 8% of all meals are eaten in a car.

  • It can be messy.

  • It is dangerous.

  • If you do eat in the car, pull over first and take the few minutes to eat without having to think about driving.

  • Better yet.....relax with your food!

Eating out ethnic style italian
Eating Out Ethnic Style -Italian

  • Most popular restaurant food in U.S.

  • Two-thirds of all restaurants feature Italian fare.

  • Order a fresh insalata to round out your meal.

  • Look for traditional bean and vegetable dishes.

Eating out ethnic style italian1
Eating Out Ethnic Style -Italian

  • Try polenta, gnocchi or risotto instead of pasta.

  • Watch portion size.

  • Go easy on veal scaloppini and chicken or veal parmigiana.

Enjoy more often sometimes

Minestrone soup

Garden salad

Bread sticks

Vinegar & oil dressing

Pasta with red sauce (marinara)

Chicken cacciatore


Italian fruit ice or fruit

Antipasto plates

Buttered garlic bread

Creamy Italian dressing

Italian sausage and prosciutto

Fried dishes


Enjoy more often... Sometimes........

Eating out ethnic style mexican
Eating Out Ethnic Style -Mexican

  • One-fourth of all restaurants today feature foods with a Mexican flavor.

  • The staples - tortillas, beans and rice are great sources of complex carbohydrates, and beans supply fiber, too.

  • Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine can be high in fat and sodium.

Eating out ethnic style mexican1
Eating Out Ethnic Style -Mexican

  • Order guacamole and sour cream on the side.

  • Go easy on the chile con queso.

  • Ask for soft tacos.

  • Order a low-fat appetizer.

  • Choose the regular plate.

  • Choose mostly baked or stir-fried entrees.

Enjoy more often sometimes1

Salsa or jicama

Soft taco, enchilada, Arroz con pollo, burrito, tamale, fajitas, black bean soup

Red beans and rice, Spanish rice or refried beans (no lard)

Fruit or Flan for dessert

Guacomole dip, sour cream., extra cheese

Crispy, fried tortillas

Taco salad, tostadas, quesadilla, chile relleno, chimichanga

Sopapillas or fried ice cream

Enjoy more often... Sometimes........

Eating out ethnic style chinese
Eating Out Ethnic Style -Chinese

  • Chinese foods are among the three most popular for ethnic dining.

  • Focus on vegetables, rice and noodles - nutritious option.

  • Chinese cuisine reflects the different cooking styles, ingredients and flavorings of China’s many regions.

Eating out ethnic style chinese1
Eating Out Ethnic Style -Chinese

  • Enjoy the flavorful soups as a starter or main dish.

  • Go easy on fried appetizers.

  • Enjoy the variety of vegetables.

  • Order plain rice and noodles, no fried.

  • Avoid dishes with meat that is breaded and deep fat fried.

Eating out ethnic style chinese2
Eating Out Ethnic Style -Chinese

  • Go easy on MSG, soy sauce, and black bean, hoisin and oyster sauce, if you are watching your sodium intake.

  • For smaller appetites, enjoy dim sum if it’s steamed.

  • Enjoy your fortune cookie.

  • Control the urge to overeat.

Enjoy more often sometimes2

Wonton or hot-and-sour soup

Steamed rice, egg rolls, fish, dumplings

Chicken, scallops or shrimp with vegetables


Stir-fried dishes

Fried wontons, egg rolls, rice, noodles

Peking duck

Fried fish with lobster sauce

Sweet-and-sour dishes with breaded, fried ingredients

Enjoy more often... Sometimes........

You don t have to give up all your favorite foods to eat out

You don’t have to give up all your favorite foods to eat out!

Simply balance higher calorie, fat and sodium menu items or meals with foods or meals that have less.