When eating away from home, it's easy to eat or drink too many calories—and larger helpings could increase your intake of saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. Here are a few rules to follow for making healthier choices while traveling.
1. Choose water, fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea or other drinks without added sugars.
2. Start your meal with a salad packed with vegetables, to help you feel satisfied sooner. Ask for dressing on the side, and use a small amount of it.
3. Share a main dish with another person or a few people. If you order your own dish, save some for another meal.
4. Order a side dish or an appetizer instead of a regular entrée. They're usually served on smaller plates and in smaller amounts.
5. Pack fruit, sliced vegetables, low-fat string cheese and unsalted nuts to eat during trips or long commutes. When you have snacks prepared, you don't have to stop for food along the way.
6. Choose platters with vegetables and fruit. Stir-fries, kabobs and vegetarian menu items usually have more vegetables. Fruit is also a great option for a side dish or dessert.
7. Look for items lower in calories, saturated fat and sodium. Many menus now include nutrition information—but if you can't find it on the menu, check with your server.
8. Choose an item from the menu, rather than an all-you-can-eat buffet.
9. Request 100 percent whole wheat breads, rolls and pasta in your main dishes.
10. Choose steamed, grilled or broiled dishes instead of foods that are fried in oil or cooked in butter.
Information from United States Department of Agriculture, choosemyplate.gov.