How to Enjoy Ethnic Restaurants Without Breaking Your Diet

Expert advice from Westchester nutrition pros prove you can still look forward to sushi and Mexican without worrying about what it will do to your waistline.

We asked three nutritional experts how you can avoid your next spicy-food coma. Our county enjoys a diverse dining scene—tangy sauces, spiced meats, and all manner of “ethnic cuisine”—and you shouldn’t miss out because you’re trying to watch what you eat. Here are some cuisines that won’t sabotage your diet.

“The no-brainer is sushi. You just want to not eat too much rice or any of it that is fried. If you go to a Greek restaurant, or even a Middle Eastern restaurant, there are a ton of options. At Greek restaurants, grilled fish is a must and is usually prepared with olive oil, lemon, and seasonings. At Middle Eastern restaurants: mashed chickpeas, fava beans, smoked eggplant—yum! Avoid falafel if you have the willpower; it packs a whopping 500 calories per serving.”  —Monica Lynn, Founder and CEO of 5 Squares customized diet delivery, New Rochelle

“I always favor plant-based foods, where you use beans as your protein, over animal-based foods to help lower saturated fat and cholesterol: edamame in Asian or pinto beans or navy beans in South American. You can even do chickpeas or lentils in Mediterranean. A steamed vegetable stir-fry with tofu and brown rice is also good.”  —Linda Arpino, registerd dietitian, Rye Brook

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“Mexican can be good if you stay away from all of the big, goopy plates. My favorite restaurant has the most amazing ceviche, which is just seafood marinated in lime juice, and they have delicious guacamole. That’s a healthy fat, but you have to watch the amount of it, and you have to watch the chips.”  —Amy Peck, registered dietitian, nutrition therapist, and personal trainer, Katonah

â–º For more from the 2013 Health and Fitness Supplement, click here

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