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August 2004 Newsletter

Chain Restaurant Diet Options

 

Dear Fellow Business Traveler,

 

Last month, I reported on the various healthy dining options at the major hotel chains. Up this month is a survey of the major restaurant chains and their menu
plans.

 

With one out of three Americans on a diet or trying to watch what they eat and $50 billion spent annually on diet products, these companies don't want to miss out! That's good news for us, however, as it means more alternatives to the typical high fat, high carb, and high calorie menus normally found in these establishments.

 

I ranked Applebee's at the top of the list for providing balanced meals and full nutritional content. Red Lobster also ranked highly for providing
good information, but didn't go the extra mile to create new menu items. Friday's caters to the low carb craze, but leaves the rest of us in the dark as to overall nutrition content.

 

Other chains have yet to jump on the bandwagon. Neither Bennigan's, Macaroni Grill, On the Border, nor Olive Garden has any special menu items nor do any provide nutrition content on their websites.

 

Here's to healthy eating in your travels!

 

To Your Health,

Customer Service, Healthy Travel Network


 

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Applebee's

Applebee's has teamed up with Weight Watchers to develop 10 new menu items that are 10 Weight Watchers "Points" or less. The menus and web site provide both the Point count, as well as traditional nuitritional information. Menu items include Tortilla Chicken Melt, Grilled Tilapia, and Teriyaki Shrip Skewers.
I found both the number and quality of alternatives at Applebee's impressive, especially given my past impression that 100% of their menu items were fried! I also liked the nutrition information that Applebee's provides, which includes calories, carbs, and fats.

 

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Red Lobster

Red Lobster recently introduced LightHouse Selections (TM) which includes shellfish and seafood menu items, along with various side dishes such as seasoned broccoli or steamed shrimp. A collection of existing menu items, the LightHouse menu takes a balanced, informed consumer approach, letting you decide what makes sense for your diet, rather than espousing a particular focus such as low carb or low fat.

As always, it pays to read the label: the Chedar Bay Biscuits are 160 calories each, 17 carbs, and 9 grams of fat.

 

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TGI Friday's

TGI Friday's provides diners with Atkins-approved menu items that include the usual steak and bunless burgers, as well as several grilled fish entrees. Since I am not a big burger or steak fan, the menu seemed a bit limited, although the Fire Roasted Salmon did sound yummy.

Alas, Friday's doesn't provide us with any nuitrition content beyond "net carbs" so it's tough to say how these dishes stack up overall.

Travel Fitness Links
Applebee's
Red Lobster
TGI Friday's

 

 


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