Eating Healthy…Even at the Bar

Posted on June 13, 2011

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Tonight, many Bostonians will be watching the Bruins go head to head against the Canucks. Bars and restaurants all over Boston will be packed with fans cheering on their favorite team. With most bar foods tending to be high in sodium, fat, and calories; the health conscious might find themselves in a dilemma.

But don’t run away just yet; there are a number of ways in which you can make healthier food choices while watching the game. By being informed and aware of what you are eating, you can turn fatty options into lighter ones. Try these substitutions to help you eat healthier while you root for your favorite team:

  • Trade in a hamburger for a grilled chicken sandwich or veggie burger. Limit the cheese, mayo, and special sauces. A good option is to ask for mustard and ketchup packets so that you can put them on yourself.
  • If you order nachos, replace the sour cream with salsa. Salsa has almost no calories and adds great flavor. For added nutrients ask the server to add your favorite veggies, such as lettuce, tomato and onions. For an even healthier option, limit the cheese.
  • Choose your sides wisely. Instead of opting for regular fries try healthier alternatives such as sweet potato fries or steamed veggies.
  • Avoid these descriptions. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy or crispy are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats or sodium. There are healthier alternatives to these. For example, instead of ordering crispy chicken tenders ask for grilled. Another option is to ask for baked bread in place of chips, which are often high on sodium.
  • Share a meal or have a snack before you get to the bar. Portions at bars are usually meant to be eaten by more than one person. Sharing meals will aid you in portion control and will help you consume fewer calories. Another idea is to eat a healthy snack before you leave for the bar. This will curb you from overeating on unhealthy foods once you are there.
  • Watch what you drink. Sodas, juices, and alcohol are full of empty calories. You should always try to stick to water when possible. If you do choose to drink alcohol, you can reduce calories by alternating between water and alcohol. Another tip is to ask for low calorie mixers such as club soda or diet sodas. However, the most important thing to remember is to always drink responsibly.

There is no need for the health conscious to avoid going out and cheering on their favorite team tonight. You can turn even the fattiest foods into a healthy meal by making the right choices. Call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 if you need help finding the nutritional information for your favorite restaurant. Also, no matter which way you choose to celebrate tonight, remember to do it in a safe and healthy manner.

….And one last thing, go Bruins!

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