5 Healthy Chain-Restaurant Meals

Even the most dedicated dieter doesn’t have the time to prepare every meal. (Plus, you have a social life, right?) The easiest time to slip up on your diet is when dining out. Learn how to order wisely at some of your most favorite restaurant chains.

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Dining out may seem more delicious, but it can be a precarious situation for any dieter. Meals laden with high amounts of sodium, fat and high calorie counts can look completely innocent on the menu. But once it’s in your tummy, it can wreak havoc on your otherwise healthy lifestyle. Play it smart by ordering these five healthy meals when dining at your favorite restaurant chain.

What to Order at Applebee’s: Sizzling Asian Shrimp & Broccoli

Why: This meal is one of Applebee’s under-500 calorie options, among other low-calorie, full-size dishes. Shrimp is high in protein and selenium, a known cancer-fighter. This sweet and spicy dish is only 470 calories and has 9 grams of fat.


What to Order at Olive Garden: Venetian Apricot Chicken

Why: Olive Garden is known to serve up heaping portions, so this more modestly sized dish is a safer option, in terms of portion control. This meal is part of the restaurant’s Garden Fare menu section, and is only 400 calories and has 7 grams of fat. Grilled chicken is always a good option, especially when accompanied by a generous side of fiber-rich veggies.

What to Order at Ruby Tuesday’s: Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Why: Ruby Tuesday’s has a Fit & Trim section on the menu, and this dish is part of it. Spaghetti squash is an excellent substitute for pasta. It’s topped with a flavorful tomato sauce, for a double dose of vegetables. This dish is only 257 calories and has 12 grams of fat.