pasta

Enjoy a Healthy Italian Meal When Eating Out

Editor’s note: If you’re trying to watch your weight or improve your eating, you know that going out for a meal can be one of the greatest temptations to lose your resolve. For those who love Italian cuisine, it can be especially difficult to turn down that extra helping of pasta or sprinkling of cheese. Here, from the experts at the choosemyplate program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are some tips on how you can make this popular cuisine a healthier meal:

Balance your options

You don’t necessarily have to skip the bread, wine, and dessert. Consider choosing just one of these options and pass on refills.

Start with a healthy salad

Choose a mixed green salad with vinaigrette rather than creamy dressings. Skip fried appetizers, which are higher in sodium and saturated fat.

Go for whole grains

Ask for whole-wheat pasta. Whole grains have more fiber and nutrients than refined grains.

Lighten up on cheese

Try a lighter sprinkling of cheese on pizza or pasta to cut back on the saturated fat and sodium.

Choose red sauces

Pick sauces made from vegetables, like marinara sauce, rather than heavy cream or butter sauce, like alfredo sauce.

For more nutritional encouragement and information from choosemyplate, click here.