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Nutrition Q & A

Which Dishes Are the Healthiest At an Italian Restaurant?

When the flavors come from fresh vegetables, fish and herbs, Italian food can be among the healthiest cuisines on the planet. But if you choose an overly cheesy, creamy or fried option, you could be about to mangia more than you bargained for.

When eating at an Italian restaurant, consider ordering these options:

  • Pasta primavera or pasta with white or red clam sauce
  • Pasta with marsala (made with wine) or marinara sauce
  • Piccata (lemon and butter sauce) dishes
  • Minestrone soup or red peppers
  • Italian ices

And consider limiting:

  • Fried calamari
  • Cheese or meat-filled pastas or casserole-type dishes
  • Pasta with butter or cream sauces
  • Italian pastries such as cream cake
  • Any scallopine or parmigiana (floured, fried and baked with cheese) dish

Or, if you have a taste for Italian at home, try the Kids Eat Right recipe for Italian-inspired New England Steak Milanese.


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