If your family enjoys eating at Italian restaurants, you may have a hard time finding a healthy option on the menu. But don’t fret–below are four great healthy choices that are commonly served at most Italian restaurants that are as healthy as they are delicious. Try one out today!
Minestrone soup is not only a good choice when eating at Italian restaurants, it’s a good choice anytime. Minestrone soup is loaded with healthy vegetables, like squash, tomatoes, zucchini, and broccoli. All of these vegetables are great sources of fiber, which is essential in promoting a feeling of fullness. In addition, these vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals which might otherwise be missed if a high-fat meal is chosen. In addition, soup provides a great source of water in your diet, which is essential in keeping you hydrated. Order a big bowl of minestrone soup at either lunch or dinnertime, and you won’t be disappointed.
Like the minestrone soup, a house salad will obviously be loaded with vegetables, providing you with tons of fiber, and making you feel fuller, longer. If you want to add something to the salad to bulk it up a bit and make it a more substantial meal, consider adding some protein. Most Italian restaurants will give you the option of adding shrimp or chicken. And while both can be good options when prepared properly, choosing shrimp is your best bet at an Italian restaurant. Remember to ask for plain, non-battered shrimp, which will be lowest in both fat and calories. By adding some shrimp to your salad, you’ll be able to eat healthy, and you can still treat yourself!
If you do feel the need to pick a heavier option, consider choosing chicken Marsala. This item is traditionally composed of a lightly breaded chicken breast served with a mushroom and wine sauce. When ordering chicken Marsala at an Italian restaurant, be specific–make sure that the skin of the chicken has been removed in order to avoid consuming extra fat and calories. Also, request that the chicken breast be prepared without any breading. Finally, ask for only a small serving of sauce. When ordered properly, this can actually be one of the healthier items on the menu.
Fish is always a healthy choice. Current research has found that fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to be effective in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and other serious health conditions. Most Italian restaurants will offer some variation on a fish dish, such as a salmon or tuna steak. If the dish contains cheese or cream sauce, ask that it be removed or placed in a small dish on the side. You may also want to consider requesting the seasoning be cut in half. The seasoning is traditionally loaded with salt, which will cause you to retain water.