Dining at a steakhouse always feels like a luxurious experience, especially when the menu offers a variety of delectable options. But having all those options can undoubtedly feel daunting if you’re trying to keep your nutrition in mind. However, while the options on that menu may seem like something other than the healthiest, plenty of meals can benefit your health and help you stick to your goals. That’s why we asked an expert for advice on the best steakhouse orders to make if you’re looking for a healthier option.
When it comes to steakhouse dishes that are on the unhealthy side, you may want to look out for extra large steak portions, heavily sauced pasta dishes (especially if it’s a cream-based sauce), or fried appetizers and side items. These can increase your saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium levels. Thankfully, there are more nutrition-friendly items on most steakhouse menus.
Whether it’s a local steakhouse in your hometown or a night out at your favorite chain, here are the best dishes to order at any steakhouse right now.
1. Lobster tail
If you’ve found your way to a steakhouse, you’re likely ready to drop some money and treat yourself. Order the lobster tail for a luxury item with an added health benefit.
Lobster is a decadent treat chock-full of important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12,” says Manaker. One cup of lobster contains 51% of your daily recommended value of B12, the vitamin that aids in brain health and cognitive function. If you want to ensure the healthiest dish possible, Go easy on the drawn butter and enjoy the tail with a veggie and a nutrient-dense starch.
2. Oysters on the half shell
For an appetizer, we recommend going for a signature item—oysters. “
A classic app at steak houses, oysters are packed with nutrients like zinc as well as healthy fats. A 100-gram serving not only provides 555% of your daily recommended value of zinc, but also 56% of your daily selenium, 493% of your copper, and 538% of your daily B12 requirements.
3. Chopped salad
For a salad, whether served before or after a meal, chopped salad has a lot to offer.
Steakhouses have surprisingly delicious chopped salads that are chock-full of good-for-you ingredients. Just make sure that the dressing you choose is a lighter choice (think a vinaigrette), and ask if they can hold the bacon when you order this dish.
4. Strip steak, baked potato, & steamed veggies.
We recommend enjoying 4 ounces of strip steak with those classic steakhouse sides.
There is nothing wrong with a balanced meal that contains a reasonable portion of beef, starch, and veggie. Strip steak is a leaner cut of beef that is high in protein, iron, zinc, and a variety of other important nutrients. While the potato provides fiber and vitamin C and the veggies provide even more filling fiber and antioxidants. Just hold the melted butter on the potato and the creamy sauces on the steak, and you should be in great shape! And if the steak spot typically salts their potatoes, request that they refrain when it comes to prepping your spud.
5. Filet mignon—split with a friend!
For true steak lovers, going to a steakhouse and not getting the filet mignon can feel like an utter travesty. If this resonates with you, we suggest going for it and sharing it with a friend to make it healthier.
Filet mignons are one of the most delicious things to enjoy at a steak house. Typically, they are served in 8-ounce portions—about double what is considered to be serving. Split a filet with a friend and either enjoy your portion with a salad or accompanied by a steamed veggie and half of a baked potato for a classic steakhouse meal.
6. Grilled shrimp
Not in the mood for steak? Go for some kind of grilled lean protein or seafood—like shrimp! Just be sure the fish isn’t deep-fried or drowning in too much butter and sauce.
Again, as long as you are skipping the creamy sauce, grilled shrimp can be a healthy dish to enjoy at a steak house. Typically, this dish is served with rice and veggies. If it isn’t, just ask for these as a side! Also, ordering the shrimp cocktail could be a great option if grilled shrimp isn’t available.
7. Pinot noir
If you plan on ordering a drink, we recommend going for a lower-sugar wine like pinot noir.
A pinot noir will be a healthier choice than a mixed drink made with sugary mixers. You can also sip on vodka with soda water—just make sure the bartender doesn’t have a heavy hand!
Whichever type of drink you decide, you’ll want to make sure you consume it in moderation if you’re trying to stick to a healthy, lighter dinner. This is because research shows that drinking alcohol can make your brain think it’s still hungry, which may lead to eating more than you need.
8. Fresh berries with ice cream
Lastly, for dessert that qualifies as one of the best steakhouse orders you can make, see if the restaurant offers some kind of fruit that you can pair with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, like a handful of fresh berries.
Many spots have delicious fresh berries on the menu, which makes for a satisfying sweet treat. Ask for a small dollop of ice cream to go with your fruit, and you will be happy with your meal’s finale.
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