5 Things You Should NEVER Order At An Italian Restaurant
By Gabriella Block; image from Pexels.com
Say ciao to secret fat traps at your local with these menu swerves…
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
If you’re ready to tone up and shed the excess weight, sign up for the Women’s Health 12-week gym-based exercise and meal plan: Lean Body Blitz.