Coast Restaurants Serve Up Carb Curbing Meals

Employees at T-G-I-Fridays in Gulfport installed a new sign in front of the restaurant. The sign touts that Friday's now offers meals on its menu approved by Atkins.

General Manager Loren La Sure said "They found 9 items on our menu, and we changed a few of our recipes to match their requirements of low carbs".

The carb-curbing appetizers and entrees include New York Strip, Hamburger and Spinach Dip. The manager says since the Atkins menu started last month, it's been a big hit.

La Sure said "It's really been very good. I would say at least 30% of our orders have been the Atkins related items".

Carl Pendola ordered the chargrilled salmon filet on the special menu. He is an Atkins customer, who says he lost 17-pounds since he started the diet three months ago.

Carl Pendola said "It's an easy diet, because you can eat just about as much as you want, as long as you eat the correct thing".

As more people try to cut the carbs from their diet, the restaurant plans to expand its menu by offering more Atkins selections, like desserts. But restaurants aren't the only businesses that are catering to the low-carb craze.

Andrea's Annex in downtown Gulfport sells gourmet products that are missing a few carbs. Owner Andrea Yeager said "We can do everything from appetizers. I can do low-carb drink mixes, sugar-free drink mixes, and desserts".

Yeager expects to cater to more people who are hungry for dishes that are low in carbs, but high in flavor. Yeager said "As us baby boomers are aging, we need to take care of our bodies, and realize that we can't do the things that we've done in the past. Watching carbs or watching sugar, it's not a diet, it's lifestyle and it has to become a way of life".

Restaurant managers warn that some meals on the Atkins Diet may be low in carbohydrates, but they may still be high in fat and calories.

By: Trang Pham-Bui