8 Tips For Making Healthy Choices At An Italian Restaurant

Posted on: 14 June 2016

Italian food is often seen as loaded with calories and fats. Although the food can be heavier than some other types of cuisine, there are variations that can be made to make it part of a healthy diet. The best part is that the quality does not have to be sacrificed to do so. If you are heading out to your favorite Italian restaurant, here are some tips for making healthy choices. 

  1. Split the dish. Instead of eating a large main entrée, ask the waiter to split the dish between your plate and a take-home container before serving it. The leftovers can be lunch or dinner tomorrow. 
  2. Order a soup with broth and vegetables. Soups made of meat and cream tend to be heavier and loaded with calories. By contrast, a soup featuring broth and vegetables, such as minestrone, tends to be lighter. 
  3. Choose the lean meat. Beef and pork are heavily featured in Italian meals, but they can be fattening. Instead of those, look for lean meats, such as fish or skinless chicken. If you do want the beef or pork, ask for lean cuts.
  4. Skip the fried foods. Fried foods, such as fried calamari, are considered a must for many, but they are heavy in fat. Instead of fried foods, look for foods that are grilled or roasted. For instance, grilled octopus or roasted peppers can replace calamari.
  5. Get rid of the breadbasket. It is easy to fill up on bread while you wait for your food. Unfortunately, the bread is loaded with butter and cheese. When you are seated, ask the waiter to remove the bread to avoid the temptation. 
  6. Leave the cheese off your plate. Although cheeses, such as parmesan, are a part of Italian cuisine, you do not have to eat it. By skipping the cheese, you can avoid consuming too many calories and still enjoy the food. 
  7. Dab the pizza. Using a napkin to dab away some of the excess oils on your pizza could also help save calories. In one test conducted, 40.5 calories was saved from dabbing one slice of pizza. The amount of calories saved may vary, but any amount is worth it. 
  8. Share your dessert. Skipping dessert is an option, but if you want to finish your meal right, split your dessert with others at the table. 

Eating healthier does not mean you have to give up your favorite Italian restaurant, like Villaggio at the Regatta. With small changes to what you order, you can enjoy your meal and stay on track with your diet.