When you get salmon at a restaurant, you think you’re really doing the right thing. There’s always the big juicy steak, the chicken fingers, the fettuccine Alfredo. Salmon always seems like a healthy option, like you’re really doing good, right? But what if I told you that that was not always the case? What if I told you that once upon a time, the salmon at Outback Steakhouse was named the #1 worst food for women?
What’s wrong with the salmon at Outback Steakhouse?
*In 2009, an article in Women’s Health Magazine had this to say on the 9 oz Atlantic salmon at Outback Steakhouse:
There may be a few foods with more calories, but after wading through hundred of menus we can honestly say that there is no entree in America as misleading as this frightening fish dish from Outback. Its description-a “seasoned and grilled fillet with fresh steamed veggies”-sounds like textbook healthy eating, a nutritious island in a sea of steak and stuffed potatoes, but what emerges from the kitchen is a plate that packs more calories than eleven orders of onion rings from Burger King. What happens to the poor fish behind closed kitchen doors is anyone’s guess (bacon-grease bath? Melted-butter injections?), but the end result should be avoided at all costs. Add on a serving of bread and butter and a simple side salad, and you’re topping the charts at nearly 2300 calories-more than any other item on our list.
They go on to suggest ordering two lobster tails from Outback Steakhouse instead. There were a lot of other no-no items from Outback on the list too, such as Outback’s salad wrap coming in at a whopping 1100 calories! The week of reading the article, I had had a delicious meal of baked salmon and veggies: snap peas, red bell peppers, and just a couple of slices of red-skinned potatoes. The entire meal was less than 350 calories. At the time, when I was already rapidly gaining weight, I was afraid to step foot inside another Outback Steakhouse!
Salmon was always my go-to meal at both Outback Steakhouse and Logan’s Roadhouse, though if you’ve eaten one of the rolls at Logan’s Roadhouse, you’re already doomed! My “usual” order at Logan’s was to try my best to avoid the delicious rolls, drink water, and get the salmon with a baked sweet potato with no butter or sugar, and a grilled veggie skewer or broccoli without butter. According to Logan’s website, their wood-grilled salmon with broccoli and a side salad is under 550 calories.
Has Outback Steakhouse cleaned up their act?
According to their website as of 2015, the “perfectly grilled” salmon at Outback Steakhouse, paired with a side salad and asparagus, comes in at under 600 calories.
Outback also offers 15 items on their menu that are under 600 calories (including cheesecake, but it’s probably best just to stay away from that altogether or share it with a friend or friends!).
But hold that thought for a second.
A study published in the July 2011 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association compared laboratory measurements of calories in 269 food items with the restaurants’ stated calories. Researchers found that 19% of food items had at least 100 calories more than listed and only 7% of the 269 foods tested were within 10 calories of what the restaurants stated.
So…how do you know you’re actually eating healthily?
Obviously, the best way to eat healthily is to grow and eat your own food. But we can’t all do that, right? Here are a few tips to not unintentionally overindulge when eating out!
- Stick to fish, chicken, or a small sirloin.
- Ask if your meat or veggies are cooked with butter and ask if they can skip it.
- Avoid mayonnaise and cream-based soups and sauces.
- Stay away from the fried sides and appetizers and opt for grilled or steamed veggies instead.
- Order a side salad without bacon or cheese and ask for a healthy vinaigrette.
- Avoid the “bottomless bread basket”that comes out pre-meal (easier said than done, right? If you must, only get one slice/piece!).
- Drink water or unsweetened tea.
Bottom line: If you do badly during one meal, it’s just one meal. Your body will forgive you. Do extra workouts or eat fewer calories during your next couple of meals. Just don’t let a lapse turn into a relapse!
Now, when I go to Outback Steakhouse, I just order the 6 oz sirloin, a side salad with mustard vinaigrette on the side, and a side of broccoli. According to Outback’s website, it comes in at 501 calories (not including dressing), less than 5 grams of carbs, and almost 46 grams of protein!
What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you think Women’s Health got it wrong in 2009, or that Outback Steakhouse has moved towards providing more truly healthy options for its patrons? I would love to know your thoughts; drop me a line in the comments section below!