Eating out while maintaining a heart-healthy diet can be especially challenging. Most restaurants don’t publish nutrition information, and meals are often incredibly high in saturated fat and sodium… sometimes more than the entire recommended Daily Value for a single meal!
Reading the Menu
When you’re eating in a new restaurant and they don’t provide nutrition info, you can make good choices by carefully reading the menu.
|Look for These
crusted or breaded
When eating at a steakhouse, some cuts are usually healthier (lower fat) than others. However, seasonings can add a lot of sodium, and sauces can add both sodium and saturated fat. Be sure to check the restaurant’s nutrition info, or ask how the steak is prepared.
Sirloin, Top Sirloin
New York Strip
And Other Dishes
Sauces and spice rubs are usually very high in sodium. Plain grilled fish and poultry are usually safe choices.
Sides may include steamed vegetables, or a baked potato with sour cream (be careful, because restaurants may salt the skin of the potato).
Ask for Help!
Let your server know if you’re on a low-sodium diet! Ask if there are any low-salt options they would recommend, or if it’s possible to leave out the salt while preparing dishes.
Here’s a tip: if you know in advance you’ll be eating at a new restaurant – especially a local (non-chain) restaurant – email them a few days in advance and ask for advice. We’ve gotten some amazing responses for restaurant owners a chefs… even a few offers to custom prepare low-sodium meals!
Don’t forget to check our recommendations for the best heart-healthy meal choices at popular restaurants.