Remember Alan Martin, the North Carolina minister who was truly determined to take advantage of his never-ending pasta passÂ at The Olive Garden? At the end of 7Â weeks, he ate $1,840 worth of pasta over 115 meals...and lost four pounds. (Results not typical, we're imagining.)
Anyway, while Martin's diet was pretty much the exact opposite of RD-sanctioned, you can still enjoy Olive Garden without burying your healthy diet in a pile of endless breadsticksâjust ask any of these 5 dietitians, who gave us their picks for eating well, even at the temple of carbs.
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If you'd likeÂ a dish that feels luxurious
"I like the Herb-Grilled Salmon with Broccoli. This rich and tasty fishÂ is rich in protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.â
IfÂ only pasta will do
"The Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken is a nice treat, and the sodium isn't off the charts."
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If you're stopping in for lunch
"The Chicken Meatballs from the Taste of Italy small plates menu are great because they're made with lean protein, and are filling but still flavorful. Also, the portion size is perfect."
If you'd like to cozy up to a bowl of soup
"If you are watching your waistline, the first step is to avoid the never-ending pasta bowl. Itâs designed to encourage overeating. Instead, opt for a minestrone soup with the house salad comboâit's satisfying and filling."
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If you like options
"The Baked Tilapia withÂ Shrimp, Garlic-Rosemary ChickenÂ and Center Cut Filet MignonÂ are all under 500 calories."