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If you're heading out for a quick lunch, consider Red Lobster. This national chain, with locations in nearly every city, offers a wide variety of affordable lunch options. Seafood restaurants, with their offerings of shrimp scampi and feticcini alfredo, are sometimes a bit scary for dieters and other health-conscious individuals. No need to worry. With a little information, you can choose a light, flavorful meal from among the Red Lobster lunch offerings, without putting your health, or your weight-loss goals, at risk.
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Vegetables are classic choices for the calorie-conscious. Some Red Lobster offerings, however, are better than others. A garden salad has a mere 90 calories; add petite shrimp for only 15 calories more. Be aware those numbers do not include dressing; balsamic-vinaigrette is the lowest calorie dressing, with 80 calories per serving. If you're not in the mood for salad, fresh broccoli is another good choice, with a portion containing only 45 calories, or wild rice pilaf, with 110. These options contain fire, which promote satiety, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Low-Calorie Main Dish Choices
When it's time to order your main course, choose wisely. Clues to calories found in Red Lobster lunches are in product descriptions. Look for words like “grilled,” “poached,” “broiled,” or “steamed” in the entree description, as these often denote lower-calorie options.
Broiled flounder, for example, has a mere 150 calories, while garlic-grilled jumbo shrimp contains a manageable 370. However, be careful of sandwiches that come with bacon, high-calorie bread, or mayonnaise; one such option, the Wood-Grilled Chicken BLT, which comes with potato chips, contains a whopping 1030 calories.
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Though Red Lobster offers low-calorie options, there are also some things on the menu you might want to either stay away from, or save for special occasions. These include anything described as “crispy” or “crunchy,” or “fried.” For example, the Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp has 710 calories, while the Fried Crawfish has 750 calories. Also stay away from dishes made excessive amounts of cream or butter; the lunch portion of the Cajun Chicken Linguine Alfredo has 630 calories in the lunch portion, and the full portion has 1260.
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A dessert is the perfect end to a good meal, but unless it's a special occasion, you might want to skip Red Lobster's desserts. The lowest-calorie item on the menu is the New York-Style Cheesecake with Strawberries, which has 520 calories. The Key Lime Pie clocks in 580 and the Chocolate Wave contains a whopping 1490.
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Red Lobster (n.d.). Red Lobster Lunch Menu. Nutrition Facts. Retrieved 26 November, 2010 from http://www.redlobster.com/health/nutrition/lunch.asp
Mayo Clinic Staff (1 December, 2009). Mayo Clinic. Energy Density and Weight Loss: Feel Full on Fewer Calories. Retrieved 26 November, 2010 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/NU00195