Summer Travel Can Still Mean Healthy Eating

Some tips for food on the go

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SUNDAY, July 3, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- When you pack your bags for your summer vacation, you might want to include these tips from the dietary counseling staff at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center on how to eat healthy while you travel.

Plan ahead by familiarizing yourself with places you might be able to eat at while you're on the road and when you reach your destination. Look for eateries that serve fruit, soup and sandwiches. Enjoy local fresh food.

Read menus carefully and avoid foods high in fat, including items that are fried, buttery, au gratin, rich, creamy and breaded. Don't assume a food item is healthy just because it has chicken or vegetables. Ask servers about sauces, toppings and preparation methods.

If you're at a fast food restaurant, look for healthy food choices.

Pay attention to portion sizes. Consider splitting an entree with another person. Most restaurants serve portions that are far larger than the recommended size.

Be wary when choosing a salad. Some salads have more calories than a cheeseburger. Avoid: salads with cheese, ham, egg and bacon; Mediterranean salads with lots of feta and pine nuts; and taco salads with cheese, refried beans, guacamole and sour cream.

When you make your vacation plans, consider renting accommodations that include some kind of kitchen facilities. That way, you'll be able to make your own healthy meals.

Watch your alcohol consumption. Avoid hard liquor and sweetened drinks, and select light beer or wine instead.

Incorporate physical activity into your holiday plans.

Before your leave for your vacation, hold a family meeting and discuss ways to encourage everyone to eat healthy and to be active during your holiday.

More information

The CDC offers these healthy eating tips.

SOURCE: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, news release, June 23, 2005

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