Ask Shaun: How can I eat low-fat at restaurants?

Low Fat Foods at Restaurants Karp Fitness Vancouver

Q: I want to enjoy restaurant dining with my friends. How can I eat out while still keeping up with my low-fat diet?

Q:  If you prepare your food at home, you have control over the amount – and the kind –  of fat you add. But this isn’t always as easy when you eat at a restaurant.

Whenever you eat out, read the menu carefully; some words indicate high-fat preparation methods. For example, “basted” means brushed with melted fat, “braised” means browned in fat, and “au gratin” means topped with bread crumbs, butter, and cheese.

There is also hidden fat in many appetizers, and yes, even that caesar salad! In fact, just one to two tablespoons of caesar salad dressing can add up to as much as 15 grams of fat! A low-fat alternative would be to request a vinaigrette dressing (without the oil) or to get the dressing on the side so you can limit the quantity.

Many fast-food restaurants are offering grilled products as an alternative to fried products in an effort to reduce the fat content. This may be effective, but remember that grilling is often done with butter or oil. To avoid the added fat, ask your server how their products are prepared – grilling over an open fire has the least fat.

Shaun Karp is a certified personal trainer in Vancouver. For further information call his office at 604-420-7800.