4 Tips For Enjoying Healthy Italian Food

Many people associate Italian food with heavy cream sauces and meals covered with delicious melting cheese. Although these meals make up part of the food you will find when enjoying Italian food, the truth is that Italian food is really very healthy. When preparing or going out for Italian food, here are a few tricks for keeping things healthy.

Focus on Seasonal Dishes

When you go out to eat to an Italian restaurant, focus on ordering seasonal dishes. Seasonal dishes are often offered as specials. Ask your server if they have any dishes that focus on incorporating seasonal ingredients, which usually means fruits and vegetables that are in season. Focusing on using fresh food is one of the keys to real Italian cooking, and many smaller Italian restaurants have seasonal menus or frequent specials for this very reason. 

Go Small with the Pasta

Keep in mind that pasta is not the only thing you can order when you go out for Italian food. If you really want to have pasta, see if the restaurant serves small plates or sides of pasta so you can control the portion size of the pasta you eat.

You can also see if there is a pasta dish that the table would be willing to split, allowing everyone to get their filling of pasta without making pasta the center of your whole meal.

In real Italian cooking, the amount of pasta is usually less than the meats and vegetables that are served with the pasta. 

Enjoy Some Fish

One of the keys to Italian cooking and the Mediterranean diet overall is fish. Fish is central to true Italian food. Go ahead and order some fishy dishes when you go out for Italian food. Look for fish that are baked or cooked, and avoid fried fish if possible, as you are going for the healthiest options. 

When ordering fish dishes, try to avoid fish that is cooked or covered in any cream-based sauces. 

Ask for the Sauce on the Side

If you want to enjoy a dish that comes with a cream or heavy sauce, ask for the sauce on the side. This will allow you to control how much sauce you consume and will allow you to enjoy your favorite sauce without overdoing it. 

Enjoying Italian food can be a healthy experience. When you want to eat healthily and eat Italian, focus on seasonal dishes, put the sauce on the side, add some fish to the meal, and go small with the pasta.