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Uno Is America's Healthiest Chain?

Uno Is America's Healthiest Chain?

Health magazine just unveiled a big feature on the healthiest restaurants in the US, which breaks down eateries by category, including sit-down chains, fast food, and independent restaurants. The magazine studied 43 chains (each with at least 75 locations) and ranked them based on the nutritional information provided.

It sounded intriguing, until I started perusing the list and found many of the choices downright puzzling: Uno Chicago Grill, known for its deep-dish pizza, is the first restaurant on the list of sit-down chains. Health lays out its reasons, but I'm still not sure I agree. To see the reasons and the rest of the list,

Like Au Bon Pain, Uno Chicago Grill has added nutrition kiosks to its lobbies, where customers can look up the ingredients and nutritional content of its foods. Here's more on why Health chose Uno:

Sure, its famous deep-dish (read high-fat) pizzas still hold court, but nutrition has become the word of the day with a completely trans fat–free menu and plenty of grilled entrees (including antibiotic-free chicken). Adding to the healthy variety: whole-grain pasta and brown rice, organic coffee and tea, and flatbread pizzas that have half the calories of deep-dish ones. Plus, you can add a salad to your pizza for half-price because, according to the menu, “We want you to get some greens in your diet.” Now that’s a blue-ribbon commitment to health.

Can we really award a "blue ribbon" for health to a restaurant known for its deep-dish fat explosions? While I appreciate the low-fat menu options and the transparency about ingredients, there's something that just seems wrong about Uno now being able to proclaim that it's the healthiest chain in America on its website. I think it would be better to reward individual dishes, or just make smart choices when you're eating out), rather than deeming a pretty unhealthy chain "healthy."

Check out the healthiest fast food joints here. Here's the full list of the top 10 sit-down chains.

  • Uno Chicago Grill
  • Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes
  • Mimi's Cafe
  • P.F. Chang's China Bistro
  • Bob Evans
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Romano's Macaroni Grill
  • Chevy's Fresh Mex
  • Olive Garden
  • Denny's

What do you guys think? Does this list bother you?


Smilesp Smilesp 9 years
I think its important to be aware of what you're eating...but why go out to eat if you're not going to eat what you really want? I say eat healthy at home and enjoy it when you eat out every once and awhile!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I'm hoping they mean healthiest as in access to fresh ingredients and nutrition information not the place that you can get the most nutritious and low-cal/fat/carb meal.
ladypenguin ladypenguin 9 years
I've never heard of #2 and #3 on the list...though their names sound healthier than the other choices. But Denny's??? Seriously???
animatedpunk animatedpunk 9 years
how are PF Chang's, Denny's, and Olive Garden on that list???
kitson1 kitson1 9 years
I was a server at Bob Evan for three years, and I will tell you this--I never ONCE touched anything but salads and green beans off their menu. Every single item is cooked on a flat top grill covered in a 1/2 inch of grease and smothered in gravy to's quite gross. And Uno? I worked there for a short time in high school and the only thing impressive about that restaurant is how many of my paychecks bounced! It'll be under in 5 years, max.
idawson idawson 9 years
carhornsinapril I agree about PF Chang's I went to their site a while ago and I was looking for something that was nutritionally sound for me and I could not find anything.
NotErasingMyself NotErasingMyself 9 years
Denny's? :|
cereal_please cereal_please 9 years
Olive Garden? Their portion sizes are out of control.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
We don't have hardly any of these chains near me except Olive Garden and Denny's. I never eat at Denny's, but when I go to Olive Garden, I usually get the Minestrone soup and I ask them not to dress the salad and to leave off the cheese. Then I ask them to put the dressing on the side and I use it sparingly. I think you can probably find a fairly healthy option at most chain restaurants if you try. Many places will make things special-order for you if you ask. I often ask for my salad to have the dressing on the side or I'll ask to have my meat grilled with no oil/butter and if I get a side of veggies, I'll ask them not to use any butter. Still, most of these restaurants don't seem that particularly healthy. I mean, just because Uno's has a "trans-fat free" menu doesn't mean those things are healthy. They still have fat in them, most of it probably saturated.
emalove emalove 9 years
Mmmm....Love P.F. Chang's! This list isn't going to deter me from eating at any of these restaurants!
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
o.O PF Changs?? romano's maccaroni grill?! chevy's!? -nearly collapses in disbelief- have they even SEEN a plate from any of those resturants?? granted i love PF changs and romano's and have to work hard to figure out calorie intake and 1/2s, 1/4s etc, and they still have a load of crap. go to fresh choice, soup plantation or sweet tomatoes, all are buffet style and offer a great selection at their salad bars. and yeah, i guiltily admit i love their chocolate muffins. completely negates my salad meal but whatever. lol.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 9 years
Is this an April Fools joke??? I could feel my arteries hardening while I was reading the list!
tsp tsp 9 years
weird list. yes, there are good fats, but still. that list baffles me. i would think getting fajitas (hold the tortillas and sour cream) at somewhere like chevys would be way healthier than what i could find at many of those other places (based on my admittedly limited knowledge of their menus).
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Ive only been to one of them once (olive garden) and not planning to go back.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I don't really eat at any of these places. When I spend money to go out to dinner I want to go someplace where I want to eat the food.
bealotus bealotus 9 years
very weird list. what about Evos?
lightheaded lightheaded 9 years
Maybe if you order toast or dry salad at all those places, it might be considered healthy... anything else on the menu? Me thinks not.
jill37 jill37 9 years
I'm surprised because many of these chains are frequent offenders in the book "Eat This, Not That", which lists the 10 worst meals to order in a variety of categories. In fact, I'm pretty sure Macaroni Grill made the top 10 worst overall. That's a lot of mixed messages.
Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 9 years
I've never eaten at most of these chains. And I don't plan to start!
laellavita laellavita 9 years
i love souplantation but the only problem is that when you go there, chances are you're going to pig out because it's a buffet! my family members constantly create these massive salads with tons of cheese, loads of creamy dressing, croutons, nuts, and who knows what else. and then they go onto soup, pizza, AND dessert. not healthy at all!
toodledoo toodledoo 9 years
If I want healthy, I don't go out to eat. Anyway, I would never think to go to Uno's for anything other than pizza...and when I want to treat myself to good deep dish I'll stick with my local Lou Malnati's. Mmmmm!
linds_lo linds_lo 9 years
Alright so these chains make us cringe with the deep dish, deep fried items! At least some places ARE giving HEALTHIER choices. When you've got a choice between either "nothing healthy on the menu" restaurant or "a few healthier options that if I half the portion and have a salad" me a booth in the latter! I'm just happy some places seem to be moving in a healthier direction! (Oh and that deep dish pizza at Uno's is the GREATEST pizza in the world with the buttery crust and...forget it - not worth the extra tire around my waist!)
nikolem2 nikolem2 9 years
This list is a joke! What restaurant doesn't have a small handful of healthy options? What about a restaurant that actually has NOTHING BUT healthy food? I do not and would not ever eat at these places.
melizzle melizzle 9 years
@ imLissy... that cookie is AMAZING! Yum! Don't get this list... they must offer the healthiest alternatives compared to other places. I'll still opt for small salads when I go somewhere that I know only offers caloric disasters.
AtlantaNoleGirl AtlantaNoleGirl 9 years
Yeah, I found it fairly amusing that almost every place on Health's list also had a dish featured on another list - America's Worst Foods - that I read recently... I think it was from Men's Health. Either way, most of these places are NOT ones I'd consider friendly on my diet (I know, I know, "healthy lifestyle").
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