Forks Holding Pasta

Along with its rich history and beautiful scenery, Italy is well known for its delicious food. As it turns out, there is a reason why most Italian dishes taste so good – they are packed with calories. With heavy sauces, carb-loaded pasta, and lots of cheese, it is easy to consume far more calories than you intended when you are eating out at an Italian restaurant.

The good news is, there are some Italian dishes that are relatively low in calories. In this dieter’s guide to Italian restaurants, you can find some helpful suggestions on what to order if you are watching what you eat and you can find more tips from

1. Choose healthy appetizers. Most Italian restaurants offer a mouthwatering array of appetizers. Instead of loading up on calories before you even get to your meal, consider ordering a light appetizer. For instance, a bowl of minestrone soup is relatively low in calories and can help fill you up so that you eat less during your main course. Bruschetta is another good option. No matter what you order, try not to overdo it before your main course arrives.

2. Keep an eye on the portion sizes. Most restaurants serve incredibly large portions of food. In most cases, the portions are far larger than you actually need. If you want to cut down on the number of calories that you eat, consider asking for a to-go box at the start of your meal. Then, put half of your dish into the box to save it for later. That way, you won’t be tempted to overeat.

3. Choose the right sauces for your pasta. Pasta in and of itself is quite high in calories. However, it can become even more calorie dense when you add cream or cheese-based sauces into the mix. Instead of opting for heavy sauces, look at dishes such as pasta primavera that rely on vegetables, meats, and seasoning to make up the bulk of the flavor. Typically, red sauces that are made from tomatoes are also a good choice since they tend to be lower in calories than cream-based sauces.

4. Consider seafood. Most fresh seafood that is available at Italian restaurants is prepared in a way that is relatively healthy. For instance, fresh fish is usually grilled, creating a light, tasty dish that is lower in calories than some of the other items on the menu.

5. Choose a dessert that is on the lighter side. Sorbet or Italian cookies are usually good options. If you prefer, you can finish off your meal with a cup of coffee rather than with dessert. This is a great way to save calories and can be equally as satisfying.

This dieter’s guide to Italian restaurants should give you some good ideas that you can use the next time you find yourself unsure of what to order. There are plenty of healthy food choices available at most Italian restaurants. The key is to make smarter decisions in terms of what you order so that you can keep your calorie intake relatively low.