These Diner Menu Items Are Healthier Than You Think

The lightest fare on those 12-page menus

Whether nothing else was open or you’re just looking for a cheap meal, diners have always been there for you. They’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

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However cozy and nostalgic, diners aren’t exactly known for their calorie-consciousness. Mayonnaise and sour cream are two of the most essential ingredients for most diner dishes. Of course, some diners have made additions to their lengthy menus to account for diabetics and dieters. But so far as most diners are concerned, you’re there for the meatloaf and mac and cheese — if you wanted a heart-healthy salad, you’d have gone to Sweetgreen or something.

But somehow, you ended up at the diner. And while you’re not trying to bust your wallet, you’re also not trying to bust your gut. Diners at neighboring tables are sipping tall milkshakes and double-dipping mozzarella sticks. It seems you’re surrounded by matzo balls and thick-sliced pastrami, but you’re dedicated to your diet.

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The good news is that, tucked inside those dozens of pages, between banana splits and celebrity sandwiches, are some surprisingly healthy options. You just have to know where to look.