Applebee's Low-Cholesterol Restaurant Meals

By Jill Corleone, RDN, LD

When you're trying to eat healthier because you have high cholesterol, you might think you're never going to be able to eat out at a restaurant again. But some chain restaurants understand that you want to eat better and offer healthier options. As long as you go in prepared, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy meal at Applebee's.

Applebee's Nutrition Info Doesn't Include Cholesterol

Cholesterol in food does not have as much of an impact on your blood cholesterol levels as saturated fat, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To lower your cholesterol, the dietary guidelines recommend you limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your calories. On a 2,000-calorie diet that means no more than 22 grams of saturated fat a day. Look for Applebee's menu items that are low in saturated fat.

Under 550 Calories Menu

For the calorie counters, Applebee's offers a low-calorie menu with meals that have 550 calories or less. When it comes to your cholesterol, the Napa Chicken and Portobellos and Zesty Roma Chicken and Shrimp make the healthiest options. One serving of either of these meals contains 450 calories and 3.5 grams of saturated fat. The Signature Sirloin and Garlic Herb Shrimp is your next best option with 490 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat. However, the sirloin meal also contains 1 gram of trans fat, which also raises blood cholesterol levels. The Roasted Garlic Sirloin has 460 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat and 0.5 grams of trans fat. If you choose a meal with trans fat, make it the only trans fat you eat for the day.

Weight Watchers-Friendly Options

Some of Applebee's Weight Watchers-friendly meals are also low in saturated fat. In fact, the Weight Watchers Grilled Jalepeno-Lime Shrimp is the lowest saturated fat meal on the menu with 300 calories and 1 gram of saturated fat. The Weight Watchers Creamy Parmesan Chicken is your next best option with 460 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat. And finally, the Weight Watchers Lemon Parmesan Shrimp also makes a good choice with 490 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat.


A few of the seafood meals at Applebee's also make healthy options when following a low-cholesterol diet. The Orange Glazed Salmon is the lowest in saturated fat with 720 calories and 3.5 grams of saturated fat. As a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, eating more salmon may help lower your risk of heart disease. The Blackened Tilapia is also a good choice with 410 calories and 4.5 grams of saturated fat.

Sizzling Entrees and Salads

The Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp also makes a healthy option. One serving of this sizzling entree contains 610 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat. Some of the salads are also low-cholesterol friendly, but only if you order them without dressing. Instead, use vinegar and oil for flavor. Good salad options include the regular size Grilled Chicken Ceasar without dressing, which has 370 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat, and the Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad without dressing, which has 600 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat.

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