No, we aren’t kidding! Italian cuisine has a reputation of being a diet buster. Pizza, garlic bread, creamy pasta, buratta and tiramisu which includes an overload of carbs and fat makes it irresistible but aren’t kind to people who are cautious about their waistline. It can be a minefield for those who are careful about their calorie intake.
However, Italian foods aren’t just about pizzas and parmigiani. It has a strong Mediterranean influence to it and involves generous use of ingredients like citrus, olives, grains, herbs, greens and seafood apart from the cheeses and salami. If you crave for some great Italian food, you can save yourself from the guilt that follows by knowing what healthy food choices you can make.
It is common for Italian restaurants to serve large food portions and unlimited bread baskets which would intimidate the health-conscious ones. Get rid of the guilt and savour healthy Italian food the next you visit L’Academie. They have an extensive menu featuring both nutritious and gooey cheesy Italian food.
What to try when you are on the lookout for healthy food?
- Bruschetta: This is an ideal starter if you are going as a group. A light bruschetta topped with veggies, basil, tomato and olive oil is a low-calorie healthy appetizer.
- Caprese Salad: Made with slices of tomato, tomatoes and generously sprinkled with basil is a light appetizer. Just like Pizza Margherita, the dish is presented in 3 colours of the Italian flag – green, white and red. Starting the meal with any sort of salad prevents you from over-eating.
- Chicken Cacciatore: It is made with braised chicken, tomato, onion, ball peppers, aromatic herbs and red wine. Since the chicken is braised and not deep-fried, it is a healthy alternative.
- Grilled calamari: If you want to include seafood, try grilled calamari. Squid is healthy as long as it isn’t fried. Grilled calamari with lemon and other seasoning is mouth-watering and nutritious.
- Mussels in white wine: Mussels are low in carbs and rich in long-chain fatty acids and minerals. Rather than having it with a piece of bread, slurp the delicious broth from the mussel shells.
- Pasta primavera: Who said pasta is off-limits? It contains some form of protein and is loaded with sautéed vegetables.
- Red sauce pasta: Skip the creamy pastas and opt for ones with red sauce. You cut down a lot of calories by replacing white sauce with red.
Since Italian cuisine is notorious for massive servings, you can opt for a take-out and save the rest for later. A small amount is sufficient to satiate cravings.