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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Healthier Choices When Eating Out (continued)




Eating out, what fun!   Last week we talked about how you can enjoy eating out with family and friends but making healthier choices when you do eat out.  As discussed, Consumer Reports has two excellent articles on how one can eat out and make choices that provide less total fat, fewer calories and less sodium.  You can read more about healthier menu options at Dining Out:  Where America Eats and How to Eat Healthier at Restaurant Chains.   This week we will look at menu options that are over the top in calories and fat and healthier choices at two popular restaurants.   A relative was recently eating out at Olive Garden with some friends.  Her friend ordered, The Tour of Italy, a dinner classic recipe.  This relative calls the Tour of Italy, “heart attack on a plate”.  Why?  Maybe because it has 1520 calories just for this entre and 860 of those are calories from fat.  So even before one orders and eats the bread sticks, the salad and a dessert, they are over on calories and eating a main dish that is 57% fat calories.  So what are some menu items to think twice about and some healthier options? 
Olive Garden has many dishes quite high in calories but they also offer a Lighter Fare menu with choices much lower in calories and fat.   Panera Bread is a favorite restaurant as they have many healthier options to choose from.  Great sandwiches, healthy salads and broth bowls.  But they also have some high caloric options.  I like the You Pick 2, a half sandwich and salad option.  They even have a You Pick 2 guide online to help you choose a pair of half sandwich and half salad that is 600 calories or less at: You Pick Two.      Skip the mayo on the sandwich and skip a lot of fat calories.

High Caloric Items at Olive Garden (also check out The 25 Most Caloric Items at Olive Garden

Menu Item
Total Calories
Fat Grams
Fat calories/% fat
Tour of Italy
1520
96
860/56%
Northern Tour of Italy
1420
82
730/51%
Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara
1590
114
1020/64%






Lighter Fare at Olive Garden
Shrimp Scampi
500
19
170/34%
Herb-Grilled Salmon
460
28
250/54%
Garlic Rosemary Chicken
540
19
170/31%
Chicken Piccata
530
26
240/45%


High Caloric Items at Panera Bread (also check out The Most Caloric Panera Bread Items)
Menu Item
Total Calories
Fat Grams
Fat calories/% fat
Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich
700
26
234/33%
Chicken, Ham and Swiss Flatbread
720
34
306/43%

Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto
740
5
45/06%
Cinnamon Roll
630
24
216/34%
Pecan Roll
740
50
450/60%

Lighter Fare at Panera Bread
Turkey breast on whole grain half sandwich
280
9
45/16%
Smoked Ham and Swiss on Whole Grain, half sandwich
370
16
144/39%
Roasted Turkey Cranberry Flatbread, 1 Flatbread
310
12
108/35%
Ancient Grain & Argula Salad with Chicken Half salad
210
7
63/30%

Before you visit restaurants, check out the nutrition information online at Olive Garden   and   Panera Bread.     You can use the You Pick Two online to check out the total calories of the half sandwich, half salad options.  Look at the total calories of the menu item and how much fat it has in it.  If you choose a higher calorie appetizer, share it with others.  If you are choosing a higher calorie menu item, split it with someone who is eating a lower calorie menu option. 

 You Pick Two

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