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Don’t Let Chain Restaurants Kill Your Diet

Do you ever find yourself without healthy options for eating out? It's hard when you're driving and see only fast-food restaurants. If you're in an airport and want a sit-down restaurant, you'll probably be limited to the big chains. We all know that it's harder to eat healthy and stick to your diet at a restaurant than at home. Chains, even those without a drive-thru window, can be extra dicey, with oversized portions, high fat and sky-high sodium. We’re not promoting fast food or any particular chain – but sometimes, you do get stuck in a food desert. Keep a few principles in mind and you should be OK.

· Look for "light" offerings at places like Denny's.

· Watch out for enormous entrees and high sodium. Split main dishes with a companion.

· Order dressing on the side, and don't muck up a salad with chicken tenders, bacon and cheese.

· Favor baked or grilled fish and chicken.

· Get fruit or side salad instead of fries.

· And, please – drink water or tea instead of soda (even diet soda).

Get details about the healthiest options at all the chains from online sources like, The Food Network, and Good Housekeeping. Here's a sampling to get you thinking.

· Arby’s: Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad. 240 calories, 13g fat

· Burger King: Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Skip the honey mustard sauce. 430 calories, 11g fat, 40g protein

· McDonald’s Classic Cheeseburger. 300 calories, 12g fat

· Olive Garden: Herb-grilled salmon and broccoli. 460 calories, 29g fat, 960mg sodium, 26g protein

· Panera: Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. 410 calories, 21g fat, 540mg sodium, 32g protein

· California Pizza Kitchen: Banh Mi Bowl. High fiber (9g) and protein (30g), low sodium (460mg)

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