Top 5 Ways to Make Healthy Choices When Dining Out This Summer

Too hot to stand over the stove this summer? If you're planning to take it easy by dining out, be aware that most restaurant food has higher-than-expected amounts of sodium, protein and fats. The National Kidney Foundation offers 5 ways to make healthy choices when dining out so you can relax and stay healthy this summer.


  1. If you plan on dining out in the evening, prepare breakfast and lunch at home. Cut back on serving sizes and foods high in sodium and potassium for these meals.
  2. Check the restaurant's Web site in advance to see if the menu's nutrition facts are posted.
  3. Look over the menu carefully. Ask your server for more detail about items with which you are not familiar.
  4. Consider sharing a main dish with a friend or family member to decrease portion size.
  5. Practice making special requests. Some examples include:
    • For salad dressings, gravies or sauces: "on the side."
    • For any grilled, sautéed or baked entrées: "No salt, please."
    • For Asian foods: "no MSG (monosodium glutamate)."
    • For sandwiches or burgers: "without cheese."

For more dining out tips, including what to look for in specific ethnic restaurants click here.