Let’s face it. Eating out is fun. But it’s also notorious for high-calorie, sodium-saturated portions that leave you feeling bloated and guilty about breaking your clean-eating streak. Luckily, there are plenty of wholesome, healthy choices at popular chain restaurants that are all under 500 calories (and we’re talking about more than just salads).
Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just taking a break from cooking dinner after a long week, you can enjoy eating out in a mindful way. Check out our healthy picks from some of America’s most popular chain restaurants.
Healthiest Pick: Herb-Grilled Salmon
Why it made the cut: Served with a side of Parmesan-garlic broccoli, this fillet of salmon provides a hearty dose of protein and healthy omega-3 fats with a burst of Italian flavors. Located on Olive Garden’s “Lighter Italian Fare” menu, this salmon will satisfy your Italian cravings without all the carbohydrates that usually come in heavy Italian dishes.
Nutritional stats: 460 calories, 28g fat, 8g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 43g protein
Dietitian’s tips: When considering low-calorie, high-protein options, seafood is usually a safe way to go. Choosing a fatty fish, such as salmon or albacore tuna, will give you a boost of omega-3 fatty acids that work as an anti-inflammatory agent and protect your heart health.
- Tilapia Piccata (450 calories, 24g fat, 12g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 49g protein)
- Shrimp Scampi (500 calories, 19g fat, 56g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 26g protein)
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