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Eat This, Not That: The Olive Garden

The Olive Garden’s menu caters to guests with a “genuine Italian dining experience,” but for those looking for healthier options we’ve simplified their selections into what you should eat and what you might want to avoid.

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Eat This

The lunch portions, which are smaller than their dinner counterparts, are probably the way to go. Soups (without cream) are also a safe bet to help keep you on the healthy track.

  1. Chicken Lickin’ Good – The Venetian Apricot Chicken is a dish with grilled chicken breasts coated in an apricot citrus sauce, complete with vegetables on the side. (See featured image.) The lunch portion* has only 290 calories and 4.5g of fat. Chicken is a great source of protein – and apricots, a good source of fiber, are known to aid in digestive conditions. *In comparison, the dinner portion contains 400 calories and 7g of fat.
  2. Pasta Lovers – The Linguine alla Marinara’s lunch portion has only 310 calories and 4g of fat. The marinara sauce is made with tomatoes, onions and Italian herbs – all of which can be packed with an array of health benefits for your liver, heart, bones and even your skin!
  3. Fish Dish – Another tasty option would be the Seafood Brodetto. It’s a collection of scallops, shrimp and tilapia in a white wine saffron broth with spinach and mushrooms. This dinner-sized portion adds up to only 480 calories and 16g of fat. Fish is an excellent way to fill your body with protein and it’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll be satisfying your palate while helping your heart!

Not That

Have you dusted off your exercise sneakers? If not, you might want to if you plan on indulging in any of these dishes.

  1. Pork Milanese – 1,510 calories; 87g fat; 37g saturated fat; 3,100mg sodium
  2. Cheese Soffatelli with Chicken – 1,530 cal and 107g of fat
  3. Tour of Italy (lasagna, chicken parmigiana, and fettuccine alfredo). Unfortunately, choosing the lunch portion for this scrumptious plate won’t save you any calories, as the lunch and dinner portions weigh in at the same size – 1,450 calories and 74g of fat

How Do Their Breadsticks and Salads Stack Up?

The Olive Garden is famous for its endless bowl of salad and basket of breadsticks. But, should you partake?

The breadsticks, complete with a garlic butter spread, contain 150 calories per stick, 2g fat, 400mg sodium, and 28g carbohydrates.

Salads are known as being a healthy part of anyone’s diet…depending on what you add for some crunch and the dressings you choose. In one serving of salad there are 350 calories, 26g fat, 1,930mg sodium, and 22g carbohydrates. To save inches on your waistline, try asking for the dressing on the side!

You can click here to view The Olive Garden’s entire menu. Click here for the entire menu’s nutritional information.

What’s YOUR favorite dish to order at The Olive Garden? Comment below!

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