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How to Eat Healthily at the Cheesecake Factory

author image Michelle Kerns
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.
How to Eat Healthily at the Cheesecake Factory
Cheesecake slices at a Cheesecake Factory event Photo Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you're watching your fat, cholesterol and sodium intake, The Cheesecake Factory -- popular for its specialty entrees, gourmet burgers and array of cheesecakes -- may seem like a forbidden zone. A typical meal can top 1,200 calories with over 40 grams of saturated fat and more than 700 milligrams of sodium. The Cheesecake Factory isn't unusual: The National Consumers League warns the majority of restaurants serve high-fat, high-sodium food in oversize portions. If you're aware of a few basic healthy eating guidelines, however, you can have a meal at The Cheesecake Factory without blowing your nutrition plan.

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Healthy Appetizers

Step 1

Order a salad from The Cheesecake Factory's Skinnylicious menu, such as the Skinnylicious Factory Chopped Salad, but request that all high-fat, high-starch ingredients such as bacon, bleu cheese and corn be left out to bring the calorie total down from 570 calories per salad to approximately 317 calories. Ask for the salad to be served with the dressing in a container on the side for even fewer calories and less sodium.

Step 2

Choose a Skinnylicious menu appetizer that is rich in vegetables and low in calories and fat, such as the Edamame or the Charred Shishito Peppers, which contain just 140 calories and 1 gram of saturated fat per serving. Keep your sodium intake under control by asking that your appetizer be prepared without salt and that all sauces be served on the side.

Step 3

Consider ordering a heart-healthy fish appetizer such as the Skinnylicious Ahi Carpaccio, which contains 250 calories. Split the appetizer between two people for fewer calories per serving. Avoid the Ahi Carpaccio if you are pregnant or nursing: Ahi tuna is high in mercury.

Healthy Entrees

Step 1

Pick a Skinnylicious menu fish or poultry entree, such as the Skinnylicious Grilled Salmon, which contains 570 calories and 732 milligrams of sodium, or the Skinnylicious Grilled Chicken, which has 560 calories. Request that your meal be prepared without salt or added sauce for less sodium.

Step 2

Ask for your meal to be served with additional fresh vegetables. Avoid adding salt at the table.

Step 3

Request a to-go box and pack up half of your meal once it has been served if the portions are too large.

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