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How to Eat Healthy at Red Lobster

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 8, 2022

There was a time when Red Lobster was America's favorite seafood restaurant. Although several other major players have entered the scene, Red Lobster is still a fan favorite.

The question is, can you eat healthy at Red Lobster? Sure you can. It's all about making the right choices and making substitutions as needed.

Is Red Lobster Healthy?

It surprises a lot of fans to know that Red Lobster has been sourcing traceable and sustainable seafood since it first opened its doors in 1968. All of Red Lobster's seafood can be traced to trusted and known sources.

Their crab and lobster are wild-caught by fishermen, and they will only work with reputable suppliers who adhere strictly to the correct crab harvesting seasons and catch quotas.

In terms of how healthy menu items are, you will need to choose carefully to make sure you're eating according to your own established personal standards.

Like every restaurant, Red Lobster has healthy menu items alongside menu items that have excess fat and calories.

Food allergies

Red Lobster has a food allergy wizard on its website so that diners can ensure that they're ordering foods that are safe for them to eat.

How to Eat Healthy at Red Lobster

Red Lobster has some excellent tools built into its website. In addition to the food allergy wizard, the company also offers detailed nutrition information on all of its menu items.

The company also has a nutrition calculator that you can use to build out the nutrition information for your entire meal.

Red Lobster's Healthiest Menu Items

Below we list some of the healthiest Red Lobster dishes.

1. Live Maine Lobster

If you're going to Red Lobster for the lobster, you'll be happy to know that choosing lobster at this beloved restaurant chain is good for your health.

Lobster is the best choice because it's low in sodium and high in protein.

2. Simply Grilled Rainbow Trout

This trout dish is a Red Lobster favorite because it's super low in sodium, fat, and calories. When you eat this fish, you'll benefit from 67 grams of protein.

3. Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms

If you want an appetizer for a starter or even a light meal, go with the Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms. The stuffed mushrooms are much lower in sodium and calories than many of the other appetizers.

4. Wood-Grilled Shrimp

Although this shrimp is brushed with butter, it's fairly low in saturated fat. Keep in mind that if you need to watch sodium, it may be better to go with something like the Tuna Poke.

5. Tuna Poke

With the Tuna Poke main dish, you get a source of lean protein. In terms of sodium, this dish has less than many of the other Red Lobster menu items.

6. Southwest Tacos with Tilapia

If fusion food appeals to you, try these delicious tacos that are made with tilapia. You get a combination of fruit and veggies that include avocado and corn.

7. Manhattan Clam Chowder

This soup has a lot of sodium, but all of Red Lobster's soups are high in sodium. If you want soup at Red Lobster, this one is your best choice because it's lower in calories and fat than some of the other options.

8. Key Lime Pie

You don't have to give up dessert to eat healthily at Red Lobster. The Key Lime Pie has just 400 calories and delivers 8 grams of protein.

What Not to Eat at Red Lobster

Here is a list of the menu items to avoid at Red Lobster if you're eating healthily. At a glance, some of these dishes appear to be lower in calories, but many of these menu items are high in saturated fat and sodium.

  • Lobster and artichoke dip
  • Golden Fried Wild-Caught Flounder
  • Peppercorn Panko Calamari
  • Chocolate Wave dessert
  • Creamy Potato Bacon soup
  • Dragon Broccoli
  • Lobster bisque
  • Seaside Shrimp Trio
  • Ultimate Feast
  • Yucatan Tilapia and Shrimp
  • Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
  • Baja Shrimp Bowl
  • Admiral's Feast
  • Fish and Chips
  • Brownie Overboard
  • Kung Pao noodles with crispy shrimp (This popular meal has 1360 calories, 203g of carbohydrates, and a whopping 5700mg of sodium.)

FAQs

Below are some of the answers to some frequently asked questions about eating healthily at Red Lobster.

Does Red Lobster have a healthy menu?

Red Lobster doesn't have a specific healthy menu, but they have three interactive tools on their website. You can use the food allergy wizard, the nutrition calculator, and the detailed nutrition information page to find the healthiest menu options.

Also, you can check out some of the menu items on the Lighthouse Menu, which is advertised as having "sensible meal options."

What are some vegan options at Red Lobster?

If you're looking for Red Lobster vegan options, go with some of these.

  • Modified house salad (without butter, croutons, cheese, bacon, or sour cream)
  • Quinoa rice
  • Fruit cup
  • Modified baked potato (with dairy-free salad dressing)
  • Vegetable sides (without butter)
  • Crispy Brussels sprouts
  • Sea-Salted Fries (these are prepared in fryers that are shared with meat products)
  • Specialty kids' drinks such as the Cherry Wave Slushy and the Casco Bay Cooler
  • Bottled Guinness beer
  • Marinara Pasta (not on the menu, but most locations will make it for you)
  • Margaritas

The popular Kung Pao Noodles (ordered without seafood or chicken) are technically vegan because they don't have eggs, shellfish, milk, or fish. However, the company hasn't been transparent about whether or not the sauce is vegan, so this one is up in the air.

What is the healthiest thing at Red Lobster?

Diners at Red Lobster can get the most nutritional benefits by ordering the grilled rainbow trout. Rainbow trout are loaded with beneficial protein, vitamin D, and omega-3s. This meal is less than 500 calories.

Are Red Lobster biscuits healthy?

Red Lobster's famous Cheddar Bay biscuits are a fan favorite, but these delicious biscuits are loaded with saturated fat and sodium.

One Cheddar Bay biscuit has 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 16 carbohydrates, and 380mg of sodium. These biscuits are high in sodium because of the cheddar cheese in the recipe.


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