TODAY   |  March 20, 2014

How to avoid ‘fat traps’ in food

Dietitian Dawn Jackson joins TODAY to offer tips on how to eat healthy, whether it’s while dining out over the weekend or grabbing a quick dinner during the week.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> so if you're planning on dining out over the weekend or grabbing dinner to go during the week, it can be a challenge to eat healthy, even that salad or perhaps the fish dish can be loaded with calories.

>> so how do you make the right choices and more importantly avoid the hidden fat? dawn is a registered dietican and contributor to "health" magazine.

>> you open the menu and you see words like "smothered." avoid smoked, that's high fat meats. avoid glazed. look for words like "infused."

>> you think salad, i'm going to be good, i'm going to be fine.

>> chopped salad, that's a fat trap. you have tons of stuff chopped up in there, you have no idea what what you're eating, bacon, dried fruit , that's 800 to 1,000 calories. shocking, right?

>> yeah.

>> so you could have a salad but slim it done with topping swaps. chopped a is a low-calorie topping. you could do fresh fruit . it saves you about four times the calories of dried fruit . a high flavored cheese like a blue cheese so use just a little bit. do dressing on the side but squeeze a ton of lemon in there because you're going to cut the calories in half and instead of dumping it on --

>> spoon it on.

>> we would think an omelet is a healthy choice . after all, it's an omelet.

>> fat trap. here's why. it's three plus eggs, a quarter cup of cheese, heavy cup of whipping cream to make it fluffy. that baby is 600, 700 calories. get an egg sandwich on an english muffin .

>> that instantly surprises me, a, because it's on bread.

>> well that, english muffin is a portion controlled little magic piece. can you only fit like one egg on there, one slice of cheese, maybe a tomato. so it keeps it portion controlled.

>> even with cheese on it's better?

>> it's tiny. just get the english muffin with no butter.

>> and you're soaking up 400 calories every time you take a bite.

>> what's our solution?

>> solution --

>> can we do that? absolutely. put a little bit of oil on your plate. here is the magic. this is balsamic vinegar . pour a lot of that on your plate, cut the calories in half and enjoy your bread but a lot less calories.

>> i get some higher quality balsamic, it makes all the difference.

>> do you keep it in your suit jacket?

>> i do.

>> moving on to fish. again, the assumption is it's fishs a fish, it must be healthy.

>> fat trap. this is ten ounces of fish. tons of calories.

>> alternative?

>> get grilled fish, it's a much more controlled way to get fish.

>> and pasta?

>> my weakness in life.

>> you read a menu that says gluten free . it's not the same as low calorie . if you have to eat gluten free because your ciliac, go with something like a