What comes to mind when you hear the words “Italian food”? Cheeses, bread, and pasta? It may seem impossible to dine healthily at an Italian establishment, and you may be tempted to throw in the towel, call it a cheat day, and #treatyoself to a pizza laden with 3-inch thick coatings of cheese or large platters of pasta.
Who doesn’t love pizza?
But some choices are better than others, and just by being mindful, you could lower the calorie count of your meal by a mile. Here are some of the best options at an Italian restaurant for the weight-conscious.
Resist the bread bowl, and skip the Caesar salad that usually is drenched in high-calorie dressing. Minestrone soup comes with beans and vegetables and warms up your stomach nicely for the main course.
Opting for red pasta sauces will save you a huge amount of calories than if you choose a pasta drenched in alfredo sauce, or the popular carbonara, a dish showered in cheese.
‘Primavera’ means served with a mixture of fresh vegetables. If pasta primavera is on the menu, ask if it is olive oil and garlic based or heavy cream based, as many restaurants douse the dish in alfredo sauce. If the waiter replies with the former, pasta primevera a good dish to opt for.
Filling up on protein is a good idea, but much depends on how the protein is cooked. Avoid deep fried and breaded items. Instead, go for chicken and seafood cooked in olive oil or wine broths. Alternatively, go for baked chicken or shrimp if these items can be found on the menu.
4. Macedonia di frutta
If you are hankering for something sweet to end off your meal, go for Macedonia, which essentially is fresh seasonal fruit sprinkled with mint and lemon juice. Or, for something a little more indulgent, you could go for the Granita.
The icier version of sorbet, Italian granita is made of ice, sugar, and flavouring. As great as ice cream in hot tropical weather, but without as much fat.
With this knowledge, enjoy your meal while staying on track! Buon appetito!
Cover photo: oldmarkethereford