There’s a good article in the Seattle Times today about choosing low-calorie, healthy appetizers when dining out. It compares different options such as French onion soup vs. minestrone:
If you thought French onion soup would start your meal off healthfully, think again — this starter can have more than 500 calories … A vegetable-packed minestrone soup has about 150 calories (8 ounces), which can increase by as much as 75 calories depending on the amount of pasta and Parmesan cheese. Still, compared with regular French onion, it’s more healthful and has more nutrients. (full article)
It’s hard to find low-fat appetizers but you can often ask the server to substitute certain ingredients with healthier options. Ask if the dish is cooked in butter and request that it be cooked in olive oil. When the item includes a dressing, ask for salsa instead. Salsa is always a great, low-fat substitute. I ask for it instead of salad dressing.
Don’t ever be afraid to request a healthier option. You’re paying for the meal – you shouldn’t have to pay with your health because you don’t want to “cause trouble.” Restaurants want you to enjoy your meal and they want you to return, so they are happy to oblige. If they aren’t, choose another restaurant!