How To Eat Healthy At An Italian Restaurant

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How To Eat Healthy At An Italian Restaurant

Hello All!!

Do you enjoy trying out different cuisines? If it is your first time at an Italian restaurant and you don’t know what to order!! No need to freak out! I am here to help you pick the right and of course the healthiest option off the menu.

How To Eat Healthy At An Italian Restaurant

Here we go, let us begin in the right order.

Appetizers

Bruschetta healthy italian food

There is a wide variety of starters in Italian cuisine. You should begin with an appetizer that is light and that triggers your hunger (well, starters are meant for that purpose only 😛 ). Try keeping your eyes off garlic bread sticks on the menu card. These are loaded with butter making them high in calories (but they are yummy… I know….just control yourself). Instead of butter loaded garlic bread sticks go in for plain Italian bread with a low cal dip. Also try bruschetta that consists of grilled bread flavored with garlic and toppings. Preferably top it with the regular tomatoes, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper instead of variations that include cheese and meat. The best option for a healthy appetizer would be to order a vegetable soup.

What all to avoid

If you spot the word frito on the menu card, stay away from it! It means fried. Don’t order fried cheese cubes or mozzarella sticks. They are high in calories and fat. The best trick is to order dishes that are either baked or grilled. Even steamed food is preferable.

Salads

Bean-Salad-healthy italian food

There are plenty of salads to choose from at an Italian restaurant. Be careful of the salad dressings, it is here where all the calories are added into your salad. In certain restaurants salads are available without dressing or you are given a choice to customize them. The best salads would be vegetable salad, pasta salad and bean salad.

Being careful with the cheese

When you are ordering the main course, you have to be careful about the cheese content as most Italian dishes have cheese in them. Go in for dishes where cheese is added after completion of the dish so that you can tell the waiter to exclude the cheese. Steer clear of stuff pasta as it has cheese in it. Risotto, an Italian rice dish that is cooked in broth (may be meat-, fish-, or vegetable-based broth) may seem to be a healthier option but avoid it if it has too much of cheese in it. Try ordering whole grain pasta if possible. If you are on a low carb diet then you can forget the pasta and order a meat and vegetable dish as a main course.

Pizza and main course dishes

pizza healthy italian food

Now coming to the pizza part, you need to choose healthy toppings. The healthiest choice would be to go in for vegetable toppings like red peppers, broccoli and capsicum.

Non-veg lovers can always order chicken and fish, just make sure that is grilled or boiled. Avoid stuffing of any kind. Skip fried stuff like fried and cheesy potatoes. Order a plate of beans and vegetables instead.

Delicious Desserts

fruit sorbet healthy italian food

It is now time for the desserts. Always keep in mind that the lighter your dessert is the better it is for your health. You can order Fruit sorbet and biscotti which includes frozen fresh fruit (like ice cream) along with cookies. If possible go in for fresh fruits.

Be wary of the olive oil

Olive oil may fall in the healthy oils category but you should not be overdoing it. It may result in downing excess calories.

Just be a little careful and you can enjoy a good Italian meal without compromising on your diet.

So, Do you think now you know how to eat healthy at an Italian restaurant? 

P.S – The recommendations in this post do not apply to people following low carb lifestyle. Will come up with a low carb version soon – Tarun

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