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Key Words to Avoid When Reading a Restaurant Menu

Update Date: Nov 05, 2014 09:23 AM EST

Even though eating out might be easier, doing so too often can be bad for one's health and wallet. However, for some people with extremely busy schedules, eating out might be the only option on certain days of the week. On those days, picking out the healthier options can help prevent too much calorie, fat, sugar and salt intake.

Here are three main categories and their keywords to avoid when choosing a meal:

1. Fried foods

Fried foods smell great and are delicious but they are very high in fat and calories. The batter used in different kinds of fried foods can also increase the carbohydrate content of the meal. In addition, a lot of restaurants will fry their foods in partially hydrogenated oil, which is a type of oil that can be reused and reheated. Hydrogenated oil contains trans fat, which can increase your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels.

Keywords to avoid: Crunchy, crispy, tempura, battered, breasted, crusted, golden and sizzling.

2. High-sugar foods

Over the past few years, sugar has received a reputation for being bad for one's health. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. Sugar tends to be paired with carbohydrates, which, when consumed in excess, are not good for the body as well.

Keywords to avoid: Teriyaki, BBQ, glazed, sticky, honey-dipped

3. High-calorie foods

Determining what kinds of food are high in calories can be difficult since several different kinds of meals can fall under that category. By looking at the ingredients used in the meals, you can get a general idea of how the calorie count of one meal stacks up in comparison to other options. Furthermore, meals that could be categorized as "comfort foods," such as mac and cheese, tend to be high in calories.

Keywords to avoid: Loaded, stuffed, creamy, cheesy, gooey, smothered, melted, rich, velvety

The next time you eat out, try to keep an eye out for these keywords instead: roasted, backed, braised, broiled, poached, rubbed, seared, grilled, steams, sautéed, spiced and seasoned.

Original article from CNN.

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