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Low-Cholesterol Restaurant Breakfasts

What to Order When You Are Dining Out in the Morning


Updated August 01, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Think dining out for breakfast means ruining your low-cholesterol diet? Not so. Low-cholesterol dining is simply a matter of making wise choices and watching your portions. Here are some suggestions on what to choose when you are dining out in the morning.

Eating Out Tips for Breakfast

Know Before You Go: Many restaurant breakfasts are infamous for being high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and calories. If you know ahead of time where you will be eating, go to the restaurant's website and see if you can make a smarter choice. Many restaurants designate entrees as "healthy choices." Plan to select one of those meals when you dine at that establishment.

Size Matters To combat large portions, select a small or child-sized breakfast entrée, especially for omelets, pancakes, or French toast.

Add A Healthy Topping: Add delicious berries or sliced oranges to your breakfast entrée in place of syrups or jellies.

Skip the Breakfast Potatoes, Add A Healthy Side: Try a side of plain oatmeal, topped with walnuts or fruit to add heart-healthy nutrients to your meal.

Watch Your Frequency Limit eating at fast food restaurants to one or two times per month.

Healthy Options

Here are some picks from popular American restaurants:

Bob Evan's Fresh Fruit Plate with a side of low-fat yogurt is a refreshing choice from Bob Evan's "Fit From the Farm" selections.
(Locations nationwide)

  • 353 Calories, 18 Calories from Fat, 2g Total Fat (sat 0g ), Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 73 mg, Carbohydrate n/a, Protein n/a.

The Cheesecake Factory: Try a ½ portion (391g) of the Energy Breakfast. It's packed with protein and features egg whites, grilled chicken and tomato, mushroom, and spinach.
(Locations nationwide)
TheCheesecake Factory Menu

  • 319 Calories, 54 Calories from Fat, Total Fat (sat 1), Cholesterol 119 mg, Sodium 416 mg, Carbohydrate 6 g, Fiber 3g, Protein 60g.

Denny's: "Build Your Own Slam" with 2 egg whites and oatmeal with 6 oz of milk for a hearty meal that's lower in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium than other menu items.
(Locations nationwide)

  • (20 oz total) 320 Calories, 70 Calories from Fat, 7 Total Fat (4 sat), Cholesterol 20 mg, Sodium 470 mg, Carbohydrate 38g, Fiber 4g, Protein 25 g.
  • Tip: Add a side of grapes (a great source of flavenoids) or seasonal fruit to improve the nutritional quality of this meal.

International House of Pancakes (IHOP): Selections from the "IHOP for ME" menu are 600 calories or less and have less saturated fat and cholesterol than items on the traditional menu.
(Locations nationwide)

  • Try the filling "Two x Two x Two" dish with scrambled egg substitute, turkey bacon, and buttermilk pancakes for 470 Calories, 40 Calories from Fat, 4 Total Fat (3.5s at), Cholesterol n/a mg, Sodium 700 mg, Carbohydrate 51 g, Fiber n/a , Protein 39 g

Bottom Line

Healthy options do exist when it comes to restaurant breakfasts. Remember that if you simply plan ahead, watch your portions, and make smart choices you can follow your cholesterol-friendly diet in any setting.
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Cholesterol
  4. Diet & Meal Plans
  5. Eating Out & Lowering Cholesterol
  6. What to Order for Breakfast on a Low Cholesterol Diet

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