5 Things You Should NEVER Order At An Italian Restaurant


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By Gabriella Block; image from Pexels.com

Say ciao to secret fat traps at your local with these menu swerves…

Starters

Lose: Baked mushrooms: it’s basically cream and cheese with a few mushrooms. Translation to 1 129kJ and 15g of fat. No, grazie.

Choose: Go for a rocket and Parmesan salad. “Bitter leaves help to stimulate digestive juices,” says nutritionist Naomi Mead. It’s also only around 710kJ and four grams fat.

Pasta

Lose: ‘Al forno’ = topped with cheese to crisp in the oven (and crisp up your arteries). An easy 3 762kJ a dish. Don’t even.

Choose: Arrabiata. This spicy tomato-based sauce has 1 672kJ and 45g less fat than creamy carbonara. Plus the metabolism-revving chilli. Hot.

Watch: 10 Metabolism-Boosters, Ranked According To Effectiveness

Pizza

Lose: A meat feast can pack up to 6 270kJ, 80g fat and 10g salt in one sausage-fest sitting, so avoid anything with more than one type of meat.

Choose: A thin crust will save an instant 2 340kJ. If you must have meat, try ham instead of salami. Both of these processed meats are high in salt, but ham often has about one-third of the kilojoules and one-quarter of the fat of salami, making it a far leaner option.

Mains

Lose: Sure, veal is a lean alternative to beef. But coat it in Parmesan and breadcrumbs, fry it and that’s 2 090kJ (836 of which is pure fat). Avoid.

Choose: Get meat grilled ‘al mattone’ (baked under a hot brick) coming in at 1 630kJ per serving – at least 835 less than a rich chicken cacciatore (a spicy tomato sauce made with lots of olive oil).

Watch: 6 Healthy Homemade Pizza Recipes That’ll Take Your Slice To The Next Level

Dessert

Lose: Italian desserts are a minefield of cream and, well, cream. “Avoid panna cotta and tiramisu, which can pack up to 2 508kJ per dish,” Mead says. Noted.

Choose: Go gelato – its base is milk, not cream – unlike ice cream. And it’ll save you at least half the amount of fat per scoop. Or go senza latte (sans milk) and get a sorbetto! Sweet!

Bonus napkin know-how…

Recent research shows that anything labelled ‘crispy’ has an average of 545kJ more than those without this adjective. Just say no.

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