Italian restaurants aren’t exactly known for their healthy cuisine. Most Italian dishes are loaded with butter, cream, or olive oil. They also often incorporate pasta, which is generally high in carbohydrates and low in nutritional value.
That doesn’t mean, however, that all hope is lost. You can still make healthy food choices when you are dining out at an Italian restaurant. It is just a matter of knowing which foods on the menu are the best for you.
In terms of appetizers, one of the best choices that you can make is bruschetta. This simple dish starts with toasted bread. It is then topped with a combination of tomatoes and fresh herbs, creating a flavorful appetizer that doesn’t have a lot of calories.
Another tip to keep in mind when choosing your appetizer is that grilled or roasted options are always preferable to fried options. For instance, roasted vegetables are a much better choice than fried zucchini sticks. Many restaurants also provide a basket full of bread while you wait for your meal. As tempting as it may be, your best bet is usually to skip the bread and save your appetite for your main course.
For lunches, soups and salads are both good choices. When ordering soup, opt for a broth or vegetable-based soup rather than a cream-based soup. This will help keep the amount of fat and calories down. In most cases, soups are filled with vegetables and other healthy ingredients, making them a fantastic alternative to more calorie-dense options on the menu.
Salads are also usually a good option. However, you do need to pay attention to how much dressing you use and how many unhealthy toppings are thrown on the salad. For instance, if your salad is covered with bacon and creamy dressing, it may have as many calories and as much fat as some of the main courses that are on the menu. Usually, your best bet is to opt for a salad that contains a lot of vegetables and that has a light vinaigrette for dressing.
If you are going to order a meat-based meal, consider opting for chicken, fish, or other types of seafood rather than red meat. White meat and fish are generally a lot lower in fat, making them a healthier choice. Additionally, choose meat that has been grilled rather than fried to help minimize the amount of fat that you consume with your meal.
If you are going to have dessert, look for low-calorie options such as fresh fruit or Italian ice cream. Most other Italian desserts tend to be extremely rich and have a lot of calories. If you do want to splurge, consider splitting a dessert with someone else at your table so that you still get all of the delicious flavor but only consume half the calories.
There are plenty of healthy food choices at Italian restaurants. It is simply a matter of looking at the website www.blueleafgraphics.com and making smarter choices when you order. You can still enjoy a delicious meal without going overboard in terms of fat and calories.