Do you enjoy “stretching” your palate by trying various ethnic dishes from time to time?
Good. Variety is the spice of a good diet, as well as of life. to keep your ethnic excursions as healthful as possible,however, it can help to know something about the items being offered. while some ethnic dishes can be very low in fat, other can be nutritional disasters. here’s a quick guide to help you separate the former from the latter.


Many chinese dishes are low in fat thanks to the predominance of rice and vegetables. do be wary, however, of appetizers such as egg rolls, which usually are deep fried. stir-fried dishes generally are a good, low-fat choice-especially if you ask your chef to go easy on the oil. “Moo goo gai pan”-a combination of stir-fried mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and chicken or sea food served over rice-is a particularly good choice. to be avoided: peking duck with 30 grams of fat in just one 3 1/2 ounce serving.


Mexican fare also can be healthful and low in fat providing you avoid dishes smothered in cheese or sour cream. also to be avoided is guacamole (made from high fat avocados), refried beans (usually made with coconut oil or  lard), and any entree that has been deep-fried or features beef or pork. set your sights instead on vegetable and  bean burritos, fresh fish dishes, salsas, salads, unfried corn tortillas, beans, and rice.
ITALIAN: Italian food is a case of Dr. jekyll and Mr. hyde: many great low fat dishes are available( any pasta dish served with a tomato based marinara sauce, for example), but so are high fat fiascoes such as “fettucini alfredo”, made with cheese, heavy cream, and butter. other good low fat choices are vegetarian lasagna (providing you scraoe off some  of its surface cheese), “pollo cacciatore” (a boneless chicken breast served with a tomato and mushroom sauce), and “shrimp alvino blanco” (shrimp cooked in white wine). as for pizza, it can be as healthful as its toppings. avoid  extra cheese, pepperoni, and olives, opting instead for low fat vegetables such as mushrooms, green peppers, and onions. high-protein foods like chicken, turkey, and shrimp also are fare game.


Like italian food, indian dishes also have their villains and heroes. try to avoid dishes made with coconut oil or “ghee”,a clarified butter. look instead for entrees featuring ample amounts of beans, rice, onions, tomatoes, and bell especially healthful dish is “murg jalfraize,” made with plenty of spices, fresh vegetables, and skinless chicken.