Friday, February 22, 2013

Cutting Calories at Casual Restaurants

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Eating out can be a nice treat for most of us. But, because so many restaurants don't post the nutrition facts for their featured menu items in a place that is easily accessible when you are choosing your dish, it can be tricky to pick the right option for you. However, for most American chains, you can rely on Bon'App to tell you what's in your food. Here is a guide to better picks at some of America's most popular restaurants. 

Red Lobster
Entrees under its LightHouse Selections Menu offer fresh seafood, which is naturally low in Bad Fat, and high in protein. The Wood-Grilled Fresh Tilapia contains less than 400 calories, and only 1g of Bad Fat.  Adding a side of either the Roasted Vegetable Medley or Fresh Broccoli will only add an additional 40 calories, but the vegetables will fill you up with fiber, and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

Olive Garden


This Italian chain restaurant may be known for its delectable bread sticks and heaping plates of pasta, but there's an easy way to eat healthier. Just look for the Garden Fare symbol advertising the lower calorie options, and check the contents on Bon'App. We recommend starting your meal with a high fiber soup, which will fill you up but not out. The Pasta e Fagioli is your best bet, and contains just 130 calories with 6g of fiber per serving. The other soup options are low in calories as well, but higher in sodium.  If you order a pasta dinner, choose a dish with a tomato-based sauce instead of something cream-based, then ask for a to-go box and take half of it home.




Applebee's



This friendly neighborhood chain contains many appetizers and dinners that are fried and cheesy, making them high in Calories, Salt, and Bad Fat. Bon'App recommends starting with a side salad, then choosing from the Weight Watchers menu. With seven different protein and fiber packed choices that contain less than 380 calories, it's easy to feel satisfied but not stuffed. Choose the Garlic Herb Chicken, and enjoy the herb-seasoned chicken breast with steamed vegetables. It's so flavorful you would never guess it's also healthy. Those watching their salt intake should take note of the sodium content, and limit their intake for the remainder of the day if they choose this dish.


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