TGI Friday’s Nutrition
TGI Friday’s restaurant is all about flavor and fun…”Great Food, Great Drinks.” Their menu is enormous and varied. From appetizers to pasta to steaks, an occasional splurge won’t send your diet reeling. However, eating restaurant food even once weekly can take a toll. The calories, fat and sodium content of many options are heart-stopping. So choose wisely and enjoy a calorie-free beverage when you go out.
TGI Friday’s: Best Choices
Appetizers, Soups and Salads
You can enjoy a single appetizer or group appetizers (larger portions) to share. Calories in either category range from 440 to 2030 (for the loaded potato skins to share). There are no calorie conscious options here. Even healthy sounding choices, such as the grilled chicken Tapa-tizer skewers® offer 620 to 750 calories and 20 g fat per individual serving. Salads can be diet savers or saboteurs. Unfortunately, even the calorie-controlled TGI Friday’s meal-sized salads are very high in total and saturated fat (without dressing!!). Your best bet is the Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Caesar salad® for 500 calories, 28 g fat, 7 g saturated fat and 1,870 mg sodium. The only acceptable salad dressing is the low-fat Balsamic Vinaigrette which offers 80 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat and 290 mg sodium.
You would think that the tomato-basil soup would be low in fat…but it is not. One serving provides 300 calories and 24 g fat (14 g saturated) which means it likely contains cream. The chicken noodle soup and house or Caesar salad (appetizer-size) with the low-fat vinaigrette are the best bets providing less than 300 calories and 12 g fat or less.
Pasta, Burgers, Sandwiches, Seafood and Chicken
Skip the pasta dishes and burgers. Even the turkey burger contains 46 g total fat and 11 g saturated fat. If you’d like a sandwich, go with the 1/2 California Club® for 430 calories, 26 g fat, 7 g saturated fat and 1,340 mg sodium. Omit a slice of cheese or piece of bacon to pull the fat content down even lower. If you are in the mood for seafood, the best option is the Dragonfire Salmon® entree which offers 590 calories, 23 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat and 2,000 mg sodium. Keep in mind that salmon is rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. The Dragonfire Chicken® is also a better choice at 650 calories, 15 g fat and 1.5 g saturated fat. Though the sodium content is over 2,000 mg it is the lowest sodium entree in this category!
Steaks and Sides
The premium Black Angus steaks and Jack Daniel’s® entrees are hard to resist – but you may not have to completely avoid them. Have a petite sirloin or flat iron Black Angus steak for about 375 calories, 25 g fat, 10 g or less saturated fat and less than 2,000 mg sodium. Don’t blow it on your ‘sides.’ Choose a side salad, broccoli, fresh vegetable medley or Tomato Mozzarella salad. The Jack Daniel’s® chicken or chicken and shrimp (without sides) are other low-fat choices, providing about 600 calories, 10 g fat and 2 g saturated fat each. The sodium, however, is very high for these entrees, averaging 2,800 mg.