Chili’s is clutch for those nights when you
want need bottomless chips and salsa, baby back (baby back, baby back, baby back) ribs, and a gigantic margarita (or three). But healthy food?
It’s no Whole Foods salad bar, but it’ll do. (Yes, really.)
If you’re trying to be healthy at Chili’s, “choose entrees containing a protein, starch, and non-starchy vegetable,” says Sarah Simpson, registered dietitian and owner of Columbus Nutrition Company. This will help fill you up and keep you satisfied so you don’t accidentally polish off six baskets of chips. (Been there, done that.)
Added fats like mayo, bacon crumbles, or excess salad dressing can also turn a seemingly healthy choice into something decidedly less so, says Shari Steinbach, R.D.N. So be high-maintenance about your order and ask for that stuff on the side.
Need specific recs? These seven healthy Chili’s menu items are all nutritionist approved.
Nutrition: 430 cals; 23 grams fat; 22 grams carbs; 4 grams fiber; 11 grams sugar; 36 grams protein
If you’re looking for lighter menu options, Chili’s Guiltless Grill section is a good place to start. “They are moderate in calories and supply plenty of low-calorie nutrients from fruits and/or vegetables,” says Steinbach. “They also supply a nice portion of lean protein to help with satiety,” like this grilled chicken salad, she says.
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Nutrition: 630 calories; 30 grams fat; 42 grams carbs; 5 grams fiber; 5 grams sugar; 48 grams protein
This seared salmon is served with rice and broccoli. “It offers a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and non-starchy veggies—a combination that helps keep you feeling full and satisfied longer,” says Simpson. “Salmon is also a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.” Plus, the citrus sauce adds a spicy kick and boost of flavor.
Nutrition: 490 calories; 19 grams fat; 49 grams carbs; 7 grams fiber; 12 grams sugar; 34 grams protein
Chicken combined with chili spices, mango glaze, pico de gallo, and avocado? Yes please! This 490-calorie chicken dish (also from the Guiltless Grill section) is a solid choice, says registered dietitian Emily Cooper. The chicken provides 34 grams of lean protein, and the combo of steamed broccoli and chopped mango, avocado, and pico de gallo serves up seven grams of fiber. Not bad.
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SOURCE: (Women’s Health)