How to Order at a Seafood Restaurant

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

What a treat it is to dine out for seafood. Delectable dishes from the sea can add a nice touch to a date night or a special occasion with family and friends. While many varieties of fish and shellfish can be lean, healthy protein choices, you must be careful navigating menus that offer batter-dipped, fried, creamy or butter-soaked recipes. Check out these healthy ordering strategies before you head out to your next seafood dinner:

Treat Yourself to Health

Seafood lovers, rejoice! Because seafood can be a wholesome part of a healthy diet, you have a number of options for your main course. Order one of your favorites or try something new. Look for these entrées on the menu: Bluefish, halibut, lobster, Mahi Mahi, monkfish, mussels, salmon, shrimp, swordfish, tilapia or tuna. Be sure to have your seafood baked, barbecued, blackened, broiled, Cajun-style, mesquite grilled, plank grilled, poached, spice-rubbed or steamed. Also, order a side of steamed vegetables, in place of a buttery baked potato, greasy fries or heavy coleslaw.

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Avoid Diet Traps

While the thought of dipping plump pieces of lobster, mussels or shrimp into drawn butter really gets the saliva going, it’s best to avoid the extra calories and fat and instead, savor the natural richness of the seafood. Or, squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice on your dish for added flavor. You can also ask your server which menu items are not prepared in butter or oil, and go with one of those options. If you choose a baked potato with your entrée, skip both the butter and sour cream. As always, avoid batter-dipped, breaded or fried seafood, like fish and chips or a fried shrimp basket. Skip the heavy chowders and bisques and cream or cheese sauces.

Savor Smartly

While you will want to know which menu selections to avoid, it’s important to know what to ask for instead. Think fruit-based sauces, herbs and spices, mustard-dill sauces, salsa, tomato sauce or wine-based sauce.

Ask Your Server

Don’t be afraid to inquire about healthy adjustments to an entrée you are eying up. And, if you don’t know a term on the menu, ask! You might feel fancy ordering Crab Imperial, but when your seafood casserole arrives soaked in mayonnaise, oil, butter and cheese, you won’t feel so clever anymore.

Check out this handy guide to better understand what you should order and avoid while out to eat:

Seafood eating out guide