Cholesterol Advice

Eating Out With High Cholesterol


If you're a high cholesterol patient, you're likely to be wary of dining outside. After all, you cannot control the portion sizes or foods that are served at outdoor places. Fortunately, you don't have to skip on most of your favorite dishes and cuisine, even if you're suffering from this condition. And as long as you practice moderation, there are several delicious heart healthy foods you can indulge in outside. Here's more.

Let's focus on the bad news first, or rather the foods that you should ideally steer clear of. These include most whole milk dairy products such as milk, high fat cheeses and butter. You can substitute these with the low fat variations of cheese, milk or zero cholesterol margarine.

Saturated fat laden meats such as fried chicken, bacon or red meat, must also be avoided. You'll be better off ordering for lean meats or meats that have been cooked by baking or boiling. Fish or skinless chicken are good meat choices for people with high cholesterol.

As tempting as they are, most fried foods must be avoided as well. You should ideally eat foods that have been prepared by boiling, broiling, baking, poaching or steaming. Switch your French fries with a side order of baked or sweet potatoes. Also, order a fresh salad or steamed vegetables as an accompaniment to your meal. Desserts must also be avoided. If you have an irrepressible sweet tooth, you may consider ordering a healthy sorbet or fresh fruit dessert instead of your usual high cholesterol chocolate soufflé.

There are several other ways by which you can ensure that the food you're having outside is sufficiently low calorie. Start by asking for the condiments, butter, gravies, sauces and salad dressing to be served on a side. This will help you control the size of helpings of the same. Also, request for low fat or fat free salad dressing. If unavailable, you can try using lemon juice or a bit of vinegar instead.

You can also control how much you eat by sharing your meal with others. Alternatively, you can enjoy half of your dish at the restaurant and get the other portion packed for later consumption. Certain restaurants provide menus that indicate heart healthy foods through icons or symbols. In case the menu does not include any such indications, you can ask the server to suggest some low cholesterol foods for you. You may also request for low calorie substitutes of the dishes mentioned in the menu.

The salad bar is also not as healthy as most people believe and many of the items there may in fact, contain high levels of cholesterol. The best way to avoid such foods is to stick to anything that looks fresh and natural such as carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red and green peppers etc. Refrain from consuming bacon bits, croutons or cheese and instead, add a few nuts to your salad to give it that extra kick of flavor.

Thus, having high cholesterol doesn't mean that you'll have to forgo outdoor dining completely. With a few smart food choices; you should be able to indulge in most of your favorite dishes without worrying about aggravating the condition.