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From the H3 Vault: Healthy Italian Restaurant Guide

from Allie Mak

I always remind myself this little piece of advice: eat if you’re truly hungry, don’t eat if you’re NOT truly hungry. Easier said than done right?  Exercising portion control and listening to hunger cues can be difficult especially when you are dining out. Thus, I have created a guide to help you choose healthier options when eating out at Italian restaurants. Healthy food does not have to mean eating naked salads while staring at everyone else eat creamy pasta dishes!

Of course, you want to enjoy your meal out, so choose something you like (within reason) and split it with a friend or get a tasty appetizer (again, within reason) to split with everyone at the table and choose a healthier main entrée.

Don’t be shy. See what the kitchen can do for you. After all, you are paying them to cook your food! Ask your server for an order of steamed or grilled veggies instead of a baked potato. Perhaps you can get your chicken grilled or baked instead of breaded or fried.

Remember, you can always pack half of your meal up and enjoy it the next day, especially if you’re not hungry.

 

Unwise:

  • The whole breadbasket
  • Garlic bread(sticks)
  • Caesar salad w/ dressing
  • Cream sauces (i.e. alfredo)
  • Fried calamari
  • Fried eggplant
  • Cheese Sticks
  • Lasagna
  • Carbonara
  • Ravioli
  • Tortellini
  • Chicken Parmesan

Better/Best:

  • ONE piece of bread
  • House salad
  • Olive oil and vinegar dressing
  • Minestrone soup
  • Tomato Soup
  • Marinara sauce
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Grilled chicken
  • Grilled or broiled seafood
  • Spaghetti w/ marinara or white wine sauce (watch the pasta portion!)
  • Grilled calamari
  • Caprese Salad
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