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Tuesday, 08 September 2015 20:24

Eat Out, Eat Well

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Eat Out Eat Well book cover Picmonkey

By Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE

 

2015 American Diabetes Association

ISBN: 978-1-58040-542-3

Soft Cover, 574 pages $17.95

 

From this book’s title one might assume the subject was about high living—a topic familiar to the experience of a food and wine writer. Closer inspection reveals that it is published by the American Diabetes Association and in fact the cover also explains it is “The guide to eating healthy in any restaurant.” Though ostensibly targeting readers dealing with diabetes, Eat Out, Eat Well seems to offer reasonable advice to that presumably much larger audience just looking for healthier ways to eat.

Organized in three main sections—healthy restaurant eating in general, American fare and ethnic fare—Warshaw’s book follows a logical exposition and is presented in easy-to-read format. Categories of foods such as appetizers, salads and entrees are segmented into sections such as “Health Busters” and “Healthier Bets.” Sometimes the alternatives are broken down into a finer sort under definitions such as “Light ‘N’ Healthy,” “Hearty ‘N’ Healthy” and “Lower Carb ‘N’ Healthy.” Within these sections are listed many, many dishes served by chain restaurants in the U.S. The name of each dish, as defined by the restaurant, is included, as are details such as size of portion served, calories, carbohydrates and sodium content.

Knowing that one portion of the Charbroiled Chicken Nachos at Baja Fresh Mexican Grill is 2020 calories, a slight saving over the Charbroiled Steak Nachos (2120 calories), may not be critical, but one order of the Steak with Flour Tortillas Fajitas from that same company contains just 1240 calories, making it seem a reasonable option. The author has included definitions of menu terms found in ethnic restaurants, as well as lists of “red flags” and “green flags,” which guide the conscientious diner away from hazards toward healthier options. A companion mobile app is also available.

For those who dine infrequently, if at all, in chain operations, Eat Out, Eat Well could still have value. Scanning the nutritional aspects of many offerings from these restaurant operations, a reader might take some comfort in beginning to understand general rules that could be applied toward ordering in single-proprietor establishments or cooking at home.

--reviewed by Maria Olivares

 

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