Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

DON'T GET BURNED BY LOW CARB CLAIMS; This Latest Change in What We Eat Has Many Restaurants Reinventing and Expanding Their Menus

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

DON'T GET BURNED BY LOW CARB CLAIMS; This Latest Change in What We Eat Has Many Restaurants Reinventing and Expanding Their Menus

Article excerpt

Byline: ROGER BULL and DAN MACDONALD, The Times-Union

Restaurants are tailoring their menus to fit into the dietary constraints of the Atkins Diet and its spin-off eating plans.

Restaurant menus are ditching high-carb potatoes, rice and bread and replacing those items with steamed vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini and yellow squash or smashed cauliflower.

TGIFridays carries the Atkins logo next to its low-carb offerings, which are similar to regular menu items, sans the offending carbohydrates. The menu features items with net carbs in the single digits -- Buffalo Wings ($6.99, 5 net carbs), Cheeseburger Cheeseburger (served without a bun or ketchup, $7.59, 6 net carbs) and Sizzling NY Strip with Bleu Cheese ($15.79, 6 net carbs).

The dish with the highest net carbs, Sizzling Chicken with Broccoli, is two chicken breasts served on top of onions and bell pepper strips on hot melted American and Mexican cheeses. It has 17 net carbs but can be cut to 12 by skipping the onions and peppers. It sells for $9.99.

Ruby Tuesday's has an extensive menu with low-carb items in every category, including the kids' menu and even dessert.

The various fajitas are the highest in carbs, ranging from 22 to 24 net carbs, while 10 Spicy Wings have just 1 net carb. The Specialty menu has Grilled Cajun Chicken -- a blackened chicken breast served with steamy broccoli and mashed cauliflower ($7.99, 10 net carbs) and Low-Carb Catch -- broiled tilapia, Cajun-seasoned, also served with broccoli and mashed cauliflower ($9.99, 8 net carbs).

Replacing mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower feels the same in the mouth for those dieters craving potatoes, but it may remind parents of baby food. However, the cauliflower tastes rather similar to mashed potatoes.

Last month, Subway introduced two new wraps created in conjunction with Atkins Nutritionals. The Turkey and Bacon Melt Wrap and the Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap have 10 and 8 grams of net carbohydrates respectively. …

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