With today’s fast paced lifestyles, it’s a lot easier to resort to fast food whenever you’re strapped for time and starving. This, of course, results to an unhealthy diet, especially if done regularly. If you want to eat healthier without having to prepare your meals yourself, a more meticulous approach at choosing where to eat can make a huge difference. There are lots of affordable diners that serve great, healthy meals, you just need to know which ones they are.
To help you get started, here are ten healthy diners that you can turn to whenever you feel like taking a break from all the grease, sugar, and fats you consume from your go to fast food chains.
1. Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes
Souplantation (Sweet Tomatoes in other areas) is an all-you-can-eat restaurant that primarily serves salads and soups to their diners. Their food are certified healthy and good for you, so you can easily just head to this place if you’re feeling like you need to get some fiber and other nutrients in your body. The best thing about this place is that they’re really affordable and you can eat as much as you want! Perfect for college kids on a tight budget, this restaurant should be your go-to place to get your greens fix.
2. Rainforest Cafe
A cafe-style restaurant chain, the Rainforest Cafe offers American cuisine with a healthy twist. They’re best known for their interiors’ rainforest theme, depicting tropical rainforests complete with lush greenery and waterfalls. Going inside one of their restaurants will actually give you a nice break from the city’s hustle and bustle, so you’re not only enjoying some healthy grub, but you’re also getting some relaxation, just as if you’re in a tropical paradise.
Famous for their breads and healthy soups, Panera is considered as one of the healthier cafe-style fast-food chains in the world. They don’t only offer sumptuous soups, but healthy sandwiches and great baked goods as well. Sure, there are still a number of indulgent items on the menu, but you can always easily opt for the dishes that are best for your health here.
4. Mimi’s Cafe
Mimi’s cafe is a cafe-style restaurant may not sound like a healthy place to dine in, but you’ll actually be surprised with their healthier take on classic menu items. Among their stand outs are their cheeseburger that doesn’t come with a bun but is actually a hamburger patty with cheese that’s wrapped in lettuce. Dining here won’t feel like you’re eating healthy as their food tastes great, which is perfect if you’re on a cheat day from your diet.
5. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
Chinese food isn’t exactly known to be the healthiest cuisine, so what’s a Chinese restaurant doing in this list? Well, when it comes to P.F. Chang’s, they have healthy options that you can always consider when you’re hankering for some Chinese grub. Just make sure to stick with vegetable dishes, and should you opt for rice, go for the ones with brown rice instead.
6. Bob Evans
Bob Evans may be famous for their sausages and breakfast items, but they also offer a wide range of low-fat and low-carb entrees and sides. You can also request for grilled, steamed, or baked alternatives to fried dishes so you can cut down on the oil.
7. Bonefish Grill
Tired of all the red meat you’ve been consuming lately? Take a breather and opt for some seafood instead. You can get them grilled, steamed, baked, or sauteed at the Bonefish Grill alongside a wide array of soups, salads, and other healthy sides. While seafood isn’t always the healthiest things in the menu, it can still help out in letting you get a balanced diet.
8. Romano’s Macaroni Grill
Italian cuisine, with its heavy use of cheese, may not exactly be the healthiest fare in the list, but since Romano’s Macaroni Grill publishes their menu’s nutritional content on their website, you’ll know which ones to steer clear of and which ones would be good for you. But what made them considered as a healthy alternative to fast foods is their “Sensible Fare” menu, comprised of lighter and healthier options. They will also let you substitute any pasta for whole wheat penne, which will let you consume less carbs and more fiber.
9. Olive Garden
Like Romano’s, Olive Garden may not seem like the healthiest place to eat at, but they do have their healthy menu options marked with an olive branch icon. These are known as the “Garden Fare”, which are low-fat menu items with corresponding calorie and fat information listed on the menu. You can also substitute any pasta with whole wheat linguine.
10. Taco del Mar
If you’re craving for some healthy Tex-Mex food, Taco del Mar is worth a visit. As they bake their taco shells and fish instead of frying them, they contain less oil for your consumption, therefore being better options for your wellness.