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What are some tips for eating out while managing high cholesterol levels?

Eating out while managing high cholesterol levels requires careful food choices to minimize saturated and trans fats. Here are some tips:

  • Check Menus in Advance: Review restaurant menus online to identify healthier options before arriving. Look for dishes that feature lean proteins (e.g., grilled chicken or fish) and plenty of vegetables.

  • Choose Grilled or Steamed: Opt for grilled, steamed, or baked dishes instead of fried or sautéed options. Request sauces and dressings on the side to control portion sizes.

  • Avoid Fried Foods: Avoid deep-fried appetizers, entrees, and sides, as they are typically high in unhealthy fats.

  • Limit Cheese and Cream Sauces: Dishes with cheese, cream, or butter-based sauces tend to be high in saturated fats. Consider asking for these sauces on the side or choosing alternatives.

  • Modify Your Order: Don't hesitate to request modifications, such as substituting vegetables for fries or asking for whole wheat bread instead of white. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate dietary requests.

  • Control Portions: Restaurant portion sizes are often larger than needed. Consider sharing an entree or taking half of your meal home for later.

  • Beware of Hidden Fats: Be mindful of hidden sources of unhealthy fats, such as salad dressings, croutons, and buttered rolls. Use dressings sparingly or ask for them on the side.

  • Choose Salads Wisely: While salads can be healthy, some can be loaded with high-calorie toppings and dressings. Opt for salads with lean proteins and vinaigrette dressings.

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