Our top three picks for smart eating at this North Naples hotspot.

Eating at a restaurant doesn’t have to mean eating badly. Registered and licensed dietician Karyn Capozzo of Appleaday Lifestyle Counseling in Bonita Springs dug into the menu at Seasons 52 at Mercato to identify three options you can feel better about eating when you’re there—as well as some general tips for making the most of your meals out.

The Restaurant

Seasons 52 offers a seasonal selection of foods—meaning you get the fruits and vegetables at the peak of flavor—prepared with natural cooking techniques that allow the natural flavors of the foods to shine.

All of its dishes are under 475 calories, which accommodates calorie counters easily. But if you’re watching your waistline, keep in mind that number refers to each dish, including appetizers and salads, not for the total of all you choose. If you order an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert, each around 400 calories, you have over-consumed calories for that meal.

Beware the sodium, as well; restaurant dishes are usually loaded with salt. Though it’s nearly impossible to avoid it completely when dining out, opting for the lowest-sodium choices on the menu (like the ones we’ve highlighted here) is smart, particularly if you have high blood pressure or a history of heart disease. How much is too much? The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,000mg of sodium per day (or 500 to 600mg per meal).

Ripe Plum Tomato Flatbread
SODIUM: 584mg   SUGARS: 6g   PROTEIN: 17g

Flatbreads are a good source of carbohydrates, which—as your body’s most efficient fuel source for muscles—are a must for every athlete. Consuming enough of them allows the protein you eat to do its job properly, rather than acting as a fuel source to muscle.

This is one of my favorite flatbreads; tomatoes are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. They’re also a source of dietary fiber and rich in potassium, which can be lost through sweat.

This could make a meal with a small salad, or it’s perfect to share.

Alaska Wild Copper River Salmon
SODIUM: 870mg   SUGARS: 6g   PROTEIN: 44g

Not only is salmon a great source of protein, it’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are lauded for their heart health-boosting benefits and for lowering triglycerides. This special blend of polyunsaturated fats has also been found to help with conditions such as arthritis, asthma and even depression. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fatty fish per week to ensure adequate amounts of this heart-healthy fat in the diet.

Though still a little high in sodium, the Wild Copper River Salmon is lower in sodium than many of Seasons’ other entree offerings.

Piedmontese All-Natural Bone-In Strip Steak
SODIUM: 770mg   SUGARS: 4g   PROTEIN: 60g

The biggest benefit to eating red meat is its natural source of iron, which is better absorbed from meats than from plant sources. Iron is a component of hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen to working muscles and, in turn, optimizes athletic performance.

However, iron is lost through sweat and can even be broken down through the pounding of feet during long-distance running and other surface contact. While there’s no need to take an iron supplement unless you are iron-deficient (it can be toxic in high doses), it’s best to get your daily dose from lean cuts of red meat, like this strip steak.

Like the Wild Copper River Salmon, this is one of the lower-sodium entrees on the Seasons 52 menu.