Defensive dining

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
More and more people are taking a defensive position when it comes to what they eat, especially by cutting down on fat and cholesterol. The easiest way to eliminate foods that are high in fat is to cut out animal products, except nonfat milk and yogurt; vegetable foods high in saturated fat, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds; and all oils, which are 100 percent fat, especially hydrogenated (high-DRAWJ-uh-nay-ted) oils, which also are high in saturated fat. Reading food labels also is important for dining defensively. Food labels must list fat grams and total calories, which you can use to compute to find out what the food's percentage of fat to calories is. You may be surprised at what you read. For instance, so-called 'low-fat,' two percent milk actually contains 38 percent of its calories as fat. Nonfat, also called 'skim' milk, has fewer than two-and-a-half percent of calories as fat. When eating out, you can call ahead to the restaurant to find out whether they have any low-fat items on the menu or whether they can prepare something special for you without oil, butter, or cheese. In almost every restaurant, the chef can prepare a vegetable plate, fruit plate, or special salad. Ask for the salad to be served with the dressing on the side, and use it sparingly. Airlines also offer special meals if you call ahead.

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