Although we remain a population of overweight men, women, and children, there is some light in the tunnel. Optimistically-speaking, we may be on our way to better choices and will select healthy chain restaurant meals when eating out.
When Canadian researchers asked patrons from ten different restaurants how well they were satisfied with their meals, patrons who ate low fat meals expressed greater satisfaction than their peers who ate high-calorie meals. Gratified customers cited the freshness of the food and the absence of fat or grease in the food as the reasons for their good reviews. Read, “Our Food is Killing Us.”
Let’s review a few healthy chain restaurant meals.
Healthy Chain Restaurant Meal Choices
Smoothie King Blended Coffee Mocha
We are in the midst of something of a coffee craze. The days when variety was restricted to “with” or “without cream and sugar” are long gone, and the new days of the intimidating crush of caffeinated diversity gone mad are here. If simplicity remains your preference, then Smoothie King has something for you. The Blended Coffee Mocha contains coffee, non-fat milk, and chocolate flavored protein. That’s it. A twenty ounce cup is only 160 calories with 2g of fat, 13g of sugar, and 17g of protein. While the sugar content is high, its one of the better choices in this category.
Chipotle Grilled Steak Salad with Black Beans, Guacamole, and Green Salsa
Chipotle uses ingredients that are a step above standard chain food restaurant fare. The meat is hormone free, the beans are frequently organic, and everything is prepared on the same day it is served. You also can substitute vinaigrette for the salsa. This salad is only 485 calories with 20.5g of fat.
P.F. Chang’s Seared Ahi Tuna
This appetizer from P.F. Chang’s gets all of its calories from protein and healthy fat. These nutrients naturally suppress appetite. It’s a good starter choice that has 320 calories and 22g of healthy fat.
Panda Express Mushroom Chicken
If you trade the rice and noodles for a side of vegetables at Panda Express, empty calories will have been replaced with nutrients. Order this substitute with your order of Mushroom Chicken and you only will be consuming 220 calories and 13g of fat. That’s a healthy chain restaurant meal!
Red Lobster Seafood Stuffed Flounder
It is as simple as it sounds: grilled flounder with a protein-charged seafood filling. There is no breading or thick sauces on the Seafood Stuffed Flounder from Red Lobster, just a nice healthy entrée that contains 320 calories and only 11g of fat.
Wendy’s Chili (small)
Finding healthy fast food options that won’t deplete your calorie and fat allotment for the day isn’t easy. A small Wendy’s chili can help keep you on track. It has only 210 calories, 6g of fat (2.5g saturated fat), 6g of fiber, and 17g of protein. It is high in sodium at 880 mg but this is still less than the average fast food soup at 980 mg of sodium.
Interested in more healthy eating tips for weight loss? Check out our list of “Foods that Burn More Calories.”
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life