Fiber On The Menu: The Olive Garden

Whenever a special occasion takes place it seems that the family finds its way to The Olive Garden. It was only fitting then, that we took the time to visit and see the sort of Full Plate Living meals we could find. We noted that the menu at this time features some Lighter Italian Fare options, and took full advantage of those.

Like most Italian restaurants, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Salad and breadsticks may cost you nothing when it comes to the wallet, but they add up quickly in calories. Just one breadstick is 140 calories! One plate of salad, 150 (mostly due to the dressing).
  2. Most plates have oversized "American" servings. It's always a good rule of thumb to divide the pasta and meat up in half. This will GREATLY reduce the amount of calories and provide you with something to eat the next day.
  3. Pasta on the menu is white pasta you have to specify if you would like the whole grain variety.

Fiber Finds at The Olive Garden

Soup, Salad, Breadsticks

Minestrone soup is always a great bet at The Olive Garden. You can actually have two bowls, one salad, one breadstick and a side of grapes for 530 calories and 11g fiber. If you only have 1 bowl of soup, 430 calories, 8g fiber.

Linguine a la Marinara

We ordered the whole wheat pasta and requested a cup of steamed broccoli and a cup of grilled veggies. Paired with a salad this meal clocks in at 475 calories and 10g of fiber.

Venetian Apricot Chicken

We ordered this meal as is and added a side salad. 440 calories, 8g fiber

Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken

We added a side of steamed broccoli and a side of asparagus, since this meal was so low in fiber. In the end, we created a plate with 565 calories, and 7g of fiber.

Herb-Grilled Salmon

This plate is friendly to anyone trying to eat gluten-free. The serving of salmon was huge (and way above the normal 4oz size recommendation) so we split it in half. We also ordered 2 servings of broccoli and 2 servings of grapes. We paired it up with a bowl of the minestrone soup instead of the typical salad (if you do require gluten free fare, skip the soup and ask for the gluten-free salad). 425 calories, 9g fiber.

Full Plate Living is a small-step approach with big health outcomes. It's provided as a free service of Ardmore Institute of Health.

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