With so many responsibilities and not enough time, sometimes eating out seems like the most reasonable option for fueling up. Unfortunately, restaurant dishes are often loaded with calories, as well as the saturated fat, sodium and sugar that make these meals taste so good. Indulging in these large, frequent meals can be costly in terms of time, money and nutrition. Even the seemingly “healthier” options are still generally higher in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat than a packed lunch or a meal eaten at home.
Still, eating out has become so normalized in our culture that many people dine out daily at lunchtime and 2-3 times per week for dinner, so it’s important to know how to be smart about it. Here are 14 strategies to try when eating out, as well as some of the healthier selections from eight of the most popular types of cuisine.