Local News

More Restaurants Start To Cash In On Low-Carb Craze

Posted November 24, 2003 10:42 a.m. EST

— They are often debated, but low-carbohydrate diets are more popular than ever. Still, many dieters get bored eating the same type of food every day. In the past, eating out left even fewer options, but restaurants are joining in on the low-carb craze.

If it seems everyone you know is going low-carb, you are not far off. Health officials said one out of every seven adults is on a low-carb diet.

Woody Sniffen is a big fan of the Atkins diet and eating out.

"It's convenient and quick," he said. "I've lost like 15 pounds in the past month, month and a half!"

However, even strict carb counters get bored with their choices at restaurants. Eating on the run leaves even fewer options. Sure, you can order a hamburger or chicken sandwich, but you have to take off the bread. More restaurants now cater to low-carb diners. Michael Dean's Wood Over and Bar in Raleigh serves a low-carb lunch menu. Even fast food restaurants like KFC boast carb counts.

Most recently, Ruby Tuesday added 30 items to its menu -- each has 25 carbs or less.

"I try to stay between 50 and under a day, so anything on here you can eat," Sniffen said.

Ruby Tuesday's menu includes the burger wrap with 8 carbs and fajitas with 22 carbs. The low-carb catch of the day with mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes lured Ken Ostraco to the table. He discovered low-carb dining just two days into his diet.

"I like it. It's one of the things I wanted to try," he said. "I'm trying to lose about 30 pounds in the next three to four months."

Health officials do not expect low-carb popularity will fade anytime soon, which means more restaurants will probably expand their menus and cash in on the craze. Even if restaurants do not have a low-carb menu, you should ask your server if the chef can modify a meal to make it low-carb.