Choosing Better Restaurants

Craving Italian? 5 Ways To Keep It Healthy

Going out for Italian food is really hard to beat, because there are so many great choices that are full of flavor on the menu. Although Italian food in general is really healthy, it can be easy to add things onto your dishes that turn them into more of an unhealthy choice. The next time you go out for Italian food, follow these five steps in order to ensure that your meal is healthy and tasty at the same time.

Skip The Bread Basket

Most Italian restaurants will bring you a complementary basket of bread before your meal arrives. Although it can be tempting to dig in and enjoy the bread, this is one of the easiest and quickest ways to add unnecessary calories to your meal. The best way to avoid the bread basket is by asking your server to not even bring one to your table so you avoid the temptation altogether. 

Order The Salad

Most dishes come with the option of either a side salad or soup at Italian restaurants. You should order the side salad instead of the soup. Ordering soup will just add more calories to your dinner. On the other hand, if you order a salad, you will not increase your calorie count that much, but you will increase the amount of vegetables that you are eating with your dinner. 

Keep the salad dressing simple, and go with a vinaigrette or light oil dressing instead of rich and creamy salad dressing that packs on the calories and the fat.  

Order Main Dishes With Lots Of Vegetables

When it comes to the main dish, stick with options on the menu that only have about five or six ingredients in them, with most of the ingredients being vegetables. True Italian cooking is all about using simple, seasonal produce and making it taste great. Go with the pasta or lasagna dish that is packed full of seasonal vegetables instead of the one that is packed full of creamy sauces. A main dish with lots of veggies is a lot healthier than one smothered in creamy sauce.  Italians really know how to make vegetable based pasta dishes taste amazing. 

Go With The Fish

Staying healthy doesn't mean that you have to skip out on the meat entirely. Instead of ordering chicken, ground beef or steak with your meal, go for fish. Fish is central to the Italian diet and provides you with lots of omega-3, which your body needs. Add anchovies, tuna, sardines or salmon to your dish to make it a little more hearty and healthy all at the same time.

Finish Your Meal Off With Fruit

Although it can be tempting to finish off your meal with a rich dessert such as tiramisu, if you really want to enjoy your dinner the Italian way, finish it off with some fresh, seasonal fruit. Generally, Italians save rich desserts for special occasions and stick to fresh fruit to seal your meal.

The next time you go out for Italian food, eat like a real Italian and stick to dishes that are full of vegetables and fresh fish, and skip out on the thick, creamy sauces and the bread basket. The heart and soul of Italian food is fresh ingredients, and it is a great way to stay healthy when you dine out as well. Contact a local Italian restaurant, like Borrelli's, to inquire about their healthy choices.