Low-Cholesterol Restaurant Breakfasts

How to Make Healthy Choices When You Are Dining Out

eating together in restaurant
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Think dining out for breakfast means ruining your low-cholesterol diet? Not so. Low-cholesterol dining is simply a matter of making wise choices and watching your portions. Here are some suggestions on what to choose when you are dining out in the morning, as well as our top picks for breakfast at three nationwide chains.

Eating Out Tips for Breakfast

  • Know Before You Go: Many restaurant breakfasts are infamous for being high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and calories. If you know ahead of time where you will be eating, go to the restaurant's website and see if you can make a smarter choice. Many restaurants designate entrees as "healthy choices." Plan to select one of those meals when you dine at that establishment.

  • Size Matters To combat large portions, select a small or child-sized breakfast entrée, especially for omelets, pancakes, or French toast. Or, simply have half of your larger-sized meal boxed up before you dig in. It'll make it easier to eat just half.

  • Add A Healthy Topping: Add delicious berries or sliced oranges to your breakfast entrée in place of syrups or jellies. Order vegetables, if they're available.

  • Skip the Breakfast Potatoes, Add A Healthy Side: Try a side of plain oatmeal, topped with walnuts or fruit to add heart-healthy nutrients to your meal.

  • Watch Your Frequency Limit eating breakfast at restaurants to one or two times per month.

Healthy Options at Chain Restaurants

Here are some picks from popular American restaurants:

Bob Evan's Veggie Omelet is a heart-healthy choice from their "Fit From the Farm" menu. It features onions, baby spinach and tomatoes and is served with a slice of whole wheat toast and fresh fruit.

That's a balanced breakfast!
(Locations nationwide)

  • 290 Calories, 7g Total Fat (0g sat fat), Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 580 mg, Carbohydrate 34 g, Fiber 4g Protein 22g.

Denny's "Build Your Own Slam" with 2 egg whites and oatmeal with 6 oz of milk for a hearty meal that's lower in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium than other menu items.

Another option (that's a bit high in sodium, but great in all other nutrition points) is the FIT FARE® Veggie Skillet.
(Locations nationwide)

  • (20 oz total) 320 Calories, 70 Calories from Fat, 7 Total Fat (4 sat fat), Cholesterol 20 mg, Sodium 470 mg, Carbohydrate 38g, Fiber 4g, Protein 25 g.
  • Tip: Add a side of grapes (a great source of flavonoids) or seasonal fruit to improve the nutritional quality of this meal.

International House of Pancakes (IHOP): Denny's SIMPLE & FIT Two-Egg Breakfast is the best choice for cholesterol. It features scrambled egg whites, turkey bacon, fresh fruit and whole wheat toast.
(Locations nationwide)

  • 390 Calories, 90 Calories from Fat, 10 Total Fat (2 g sat fat), Cholesterol 25 mg, Sodium 900 mg, Carbohydrate 36 g, Fiber 5 g , Protein 26 g

Bottom Line

Healthy options do exist when it comes to restaurant breakfasts. Remember that if you simply plan ahead, watch your portions, and make smart choices you can follow your cholesterol-friendly diet in any setting.

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