All Entries For Diet Friendly Dining

15 Surprisingly Healthy Restaurant Dishes

Just because you're trying to eat healthier this year, doesn't mean you can never go out to eat with your friends or family. Instead of getting frustrated and throwing caution to the wind, just do a little research ahead of time to identify menu options that fit in with your nutrition goals.
We've scoured popular restaurant menus to give you a head start with 15 healthy dishes that will fit into most eating plans. And don't worry, even if you do make a less-than-ideal choice at one meal, that doesn't mean you have to give up on healthy eating. Just go right back to your plan at the very next meal and don't waste time feeling guilty!
Posted 1/1/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 7 comments   19,824 views
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The Top 10 Worst Restaurant Salads

Everyone loves a top 10 list and many of them provide a good chuckle or two. Today we bring you a more serious top 10 list that instead of a chuckle, may make your gasp. Why? Here are 10 seemingly innocent salads that contain more than 1,000 calories each!

Posted 10/5/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 397 comments   301,982 views
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The Best and Worst Sips for Your Hips

Made with wholesome fruit, milk and ice, what's not to love about a healthy smoothie on a hot day? Not so fast—although they may sound innocent enough, these summer sippers could actually be massive calorie bombs in disguise. Many common selections at smoothie chains and fast food restaurants pack two times more sugar than a candy bar and more calories than a burger and fries! Before drinking up, read on for the best and worst picks from popular smoothie establishments across the country. 
Posted 8/14/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 47 comments   51,910 views
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The 7 Worst Restaurant Foods in America

We all enjoy eating away from home from time to time and try to make smart choices when we do. Sometimes we sabotage all our best efforts and give in to a moment of weakness. The more you know about Diet Friendly Dining when you are eating Food on the Run the more you will be able to resist temptation.

Recently Eat This, Not That outlined the 20 Worst Restaurant Foods in America. Here are seven you should avoid if at all possible.

Posted 6/28/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 235 comments   323,146 views
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The 9 Healthiest Coffee Drinks and Smoothies

One of the sneakiest places excess calories hide is in beverages--and two of the biggest culprits are coffee drinks and smoothies. Though coffee itself is calorie-free and smoothies are made with fruit, the extras we add to these beverages can tack on hundreds of calories! Thankfully, there are plenty of better choices out there. Here, we've rounded up the nine healthiest smoothies and coffee drinks!

Posted 3/21/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 108 comments   406,211 views
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Shocking Restaurant Meals to Avoid This Year

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has recently released their Xtreme Eating 2013 report. This yearly publication highlights the most shocking levels of calories, saturated fat, sugar and sodium in restaurant dishes across the country.

We've seen some noteworthy diet-friendly dining choices over the past several years, but restaurants still have a lot of work to do in the nutrition department—and this list is proof of that! Check out some of these outrageous meals from CSPI's ''no-no'' list, plus smarter alternatives. Have you tried any on the list?
Posted 1/24/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 44 comments   30,630 views
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The 10 Healthiest Restaurant Dishes of 2012

We hear in the media all the time about the calorie-laden fare that’s regularly served up at fast-food chains and casual-dining restaurants. But what about the sensible options? Are there any truly healthy choices at restaurants anymore? There sure are—and we’ve got a whole list of them! Here are some of the best restaurant meal options of the year to help make your dining-out decisions a little easier. See if any of your favorites made the cut!
Posted 12/27/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 38 comments   73,206 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Outback Steakhouse

This Australia-inspired chain is known for its steaks and the Bloomin' Onion, a deep-fried, batter-dipped appetizer that has more than 2,300 calories! While you'll find plenty of over-the-top dishes, Outback's menu has some healthy fare, too. Large portion sizes will require sharing entrées or taking half home especially if sodium content is of specific concern. While there are still plenty of high calorie, fat and sodium options, with a little preparation and planning, you can find a Down Under meal that won't weigh you or your little "joeys" down.
Posted 5/7/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 28 comments   27,078 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

Red Robin was named Zagat 2011 Fast Food Survey full-service chain "Best Burger" for the third straight year in a row. Known for their great atmosphere, unique burgers and Yummm®, this family friendly restaurant has had quite a transformation to achieve this honor. Originally started as a tavern back in the 1940s, it quickly became known as Sam's Red Robin for its singing owner that could frequently be heard singing "When the Red, Red, Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)" with his barbershop quartet. By the 1970s, Red Robin had transitioned from a tavern to a gourmet burger restaurant. Today, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is an award-winning restaurant with both kid and parent appeal. When observing the pride they have in providing value centered service to their guests as well as the communities where they do business, it could be easy to forget to ask how their food stacks up nutritionally.
Innovative gourmet sandwiches tend to come with high calorie and sodium counts. Add to that calories and sodium from the Bottomless Steak Fries® (434 cal/18g fat/444 mg sodium per serving) and Bottomless Beverages™ and the totals could easily soar. While it may feel hopeless that you can enjoy a meal here while also staying within nutritional guidelines, there is a way to have your burger and eat it too! Here are some tips to help.  
Posted 3/26/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 46 comments   119,510 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Quaker Steak & Lube

I had to do a double take the first time I passed this restaurant. Born out of a desire to preserve "the culture of those old gas stations and high-powered muscle cars," The Lube isn't your ordinary wings joint. If you are looking for a new place for a night out with the guys or a family-friendly restaurant that focuses on dad, The Quaker Steak and Lube might be worth checking out. Not only have they won "Best Wings USA" they have over 100 local, national and international awards for their sauce recipes as well as a focus on healthy kids options. Oh yea, there are plenty of cars, trucks and motorcycles too!
Of course, there are plenty of high fat and high calorie options to tempt you. Yes, many are extremely higher in sodium and only slightly better when you request no added salt when ordering. However, you can also find some health conscious options as well. Although the restaurant doesn't make their nutrition information readily available, the team at Healthy Dining Finder has. Here are some of the healthier options and special request suggestions they highlight.
Posted 2/6/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 20 comments   23,588 views
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10 Diet Friendly Restaurants: Stay on Track When You're On-the-Go

Harris Interactive recently conducted a survey on behalf of Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill to gain information about food-related New Year's resolutions. They surveyed U.S. adults at the end of 2011 and found that 83 percent of those interviewed would like to eat better in the New Year but don't want to feel they are sacrificing to do it. Eighty-one percent of respondents also say that lower-calorie meal options when dining away from home would help them keep their food-related resolutions. Since nine in ten Americans that make food-related resolutions end up breaking them, help with finding lower calorie meal options is needed to point people in the right direction when they dine away from home.
Over the years, we have highlighted many healthier options in our Diet Friendly Dining series. Since many of you made food-related New Year's resolutions or goals for this year, here are 10 restaurants with calorie conscience menus to keep in mind when eating away from home.
Posted 1/19/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 44 comments   206,175 views
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10 Low Sodium Restaurant Options For the New Year

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends individuals between the ages of 2-50 should reduce daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg or less. For those older than 51 or younger individuals with hypertension, diabetes, or other chronic diseases, the recommendation lowers to 1,500 mg per day.  Since sodium is essential element necessary for the body to function properly, it is important to consume between 1,500-2,300 mg per day on average unless otherwise directed by your medical provider.
 In our ongoing Food on the Run and Diet Friendly Dining series, one of the most common comments I find relates to why the sodium content is so high in the foods we suggest as being "healthier" options.  
More and more restaurants are moving in the direction of fresh, whole foods for entrée and side options. Since these tend to be naturally low in sodium, they are a great way to increase nutrition while decreasing the sodium and fat content at the same time. Options such as fresh fruit and steamed or raw vegetables without added sodium, lean meats, poultry and fish as well as whole grains, dried beans, and lentils that do not have added salt are usually better choices with lower sodium content.
The Healthy Dining finder's team of Registered Dietitians believes that Sodium Savvy menu items are those that provide 750 mg or sodium or less for an entrée, and 250 mg of sodium or less for an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. Here are 10 of the best low sodium casual dining and fast food entrée options you might want to select next time you are eating away from home.
Posted 1/5/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 13 comments   60,789 views
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The 10 Healthiest Menu Items of 2011

We have seen many restaurants update their menus this year to provide patrons with healthier options. The new Kids Live Well campaign provides families with healthier choices when eating away from home to help kids maintain a healthy weight. While some reports suggest the new healthy options aren't popular, many restaurant chains aren't giving up and are striving to be on board with the First Lady's anti-obesity campaign.
Throughout 2011, we have highlighted some of the healthier fast food and casual dining options in our Food on the Run and Diet Friendly Dining reviews. Here are 10 of the healthiest menu options we've seen this year:
Posted 12/8/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 32 comments   87,877 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Denny's

In The Santa Clause movie, Scott Calvin and his son visit Denny's late in the evening after burning their holiday meal because America's diner is always open. Besides always being open, Denny's is probably best known for breakfast because it is served all day long. If breakfast isn't for you, a variety of other diner favorites are available to meet all kinds of tastes. In America, diners or "greasy spoons" were known for great tasting foods that were less than healthy. Today, Denny's attempts to keep the diner favorites while also offering more nutritionally fit meal options as well as a value menu so both the nutrition and cost conscience patron can find what they are looking for.
Denny's Fit Fare guide will be your key to better nutrition at your next visit. In addition to a variety of designated Fit Fare options, you can also substitute healthier items like egg whites, chicken sausage, turkey bacon, wheat pancakes, sugar-free syrup, Fit Fare fresh veggies, or seasonal fruit in any meal. The Fit Fare logos will help you identify the best choices to meet your nutrition meal goals.
  • Fit Fare Lean: Under 15 grams of fat
  • Fit Fare Light: Under 550 calories
  • Fit Fare Protein: Over 20 grams of protein
  • Fit Fare Fiber: Over 8 grams of fiber
Here are the best choices we found that might help you stay within your nutrition goals as you enjoy a meal away from home.
Posted 12/5/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 13 comments   16,854 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Tony Roma's

Back in 1972, Tony Roma's Place was a casual, comfortable neighborhood bar in south Florida that was known for great tasting baby back ribs. Before long, word spread and Tony's quickly became one of the most popular and successful restaurants in Miami.
Today you can find nearly 200 Tony Roma's restaurants throughout 17 states, 33 countries, and six continents making it one of the most globally recognized restaurant chains. Today it is also not just a great place for ribs. Diners can enjoy a full menu including steak, seafood, chicken as well as unique appetizers and mini desserts.
Here are some of the better choices to keep in mind when you visit your local Tony Roma's.
Posted 11/17/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 30 comments   12,280 views
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