A perfect lunch: shrimp and vegetables
The WalkTalkNutrition RD team went to lunch at Red Lobster. Fish is a low calorie, high protein food, which can make a fish restaurant like this sound healthy.
- The calories are listed on the printed menu, even though calorie posting rules haven’t gone into effect.
- Red Lobster has an Interactive Nutrition Menu, which also has helpful allergen info. You can sort the food items by calories, lowest to highest. Very helpful!
- Calories on menu didn’t always match the numbers online.
- Also: the calorie totals do not include the sides or condiments. When you’re talking about butter dip for lobster, that’s a significant amount of additional calories.
- A lot of these dishes were very high in sodium despite some choices being very low in calories.
- Cheddar Chive Biscuits delivered to the table without request. 160 kcal per biscuit, with 2.5 grams trans fat per biscuit.
Overall, the highest caloric items were those with “alfredo” in the name. Crab Linguini Alfredo Full Portion had a whopping 2030 kcal, with 135 grams fat, of which 44 g sat fat – equivalent to about 6 tablespoons of butter. 3.5 g trans fat (0 grams is recommended). Even the half portion alfredo appetizer was over 1000 kcal!
The desserts are outrageously high in calories. Exhibit A: the 1000 kcal cookie. Honestly, chain restaurants have made such a tradition out of offering excessively high calorie over-sized desserts that we’re going to assume they’re all bad from now on. Donna says she’ll give a Gold Medal to a restaurant that actually comes up with a small modest lower calorie dessert (NOT one made with fake “lite” ingredients).
Our bottom line
You can find lower calorie items at Red Lobster, and they do have nice side dish choices such as broccoli and brussels sprouts. You could have a 500-600 calorie healthy filling meal. Or you can have a 2500 calorie meal, which would not be hard to do.