Raleigh Chef Serves Up Heart-Smart Ordering Tips
Posted June 23, 2003
RALEIGH, N.C. — For those trying to eat healthfully, eating out it is not always so easy.
Many people say they order fish or chicken or get salad dressing on the side to save on fat and calories, but a local chef serves up some additional advice on healthful ordering.
"You don't necessarily need olive oil to make everything taste good. You don't necessarily need butter," said Jeffrey Mackey, sous-chef at 518 West in Raleigh.
Mackey said there are many ways to cut back on fat and calories -- just do not be afraid to ask.
For people who like to order red meat, he suggests ordering leaner cuts, like tenderloin and filets. Ordering foods that are not seared or sautéed can also cut back on fat.
"A lot of times sautéing adds a lot of oil to it so it won't stick to the pan," Mackey said.
Ask for a menu option that is sautéed to be grilled or baked instead.
Chicken or kebabs are a healthy alternative.
It is also a good idea to ask if something is marinated.
"Sometimes people marinate in peanut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil which is a lot higher in cholesterol and really isn't good for you," Mackey said. "Ask if they can brush it with just a little bit of olive oil."
Keep high amounts of salt in mind and pass on the extras, like Parmesan cheese.
For people who like pasta, stay away from cream sauces. To avoid extra cholesterol, ask if the pasta is fresh or dry. Fresh pasta is made with eggs, but most dry pastas are not.
"So your fresh pasta is going to be a little less heart healthy," Mackey said.
He added that any dish can be slimmed down, but customers have to speak up.
"Never be afraid to ask any question," he said.
When it comes to dessert, Mackey said it is hard to cut down on fat and calories unless ordering fresh fruit or sorbet. He recommended getting one item and splitting it with someone.