How to “Health-ify” Your Favorite Italian Comfort Foods
It’s a new year and after a tough 2020, more people now than ever before are making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. A common myth to losing weight is that you can’t eat Italian food because it’s “unhealthy”. Rather than avoiding pasta and pizza altogether, we put together some fun tips and tricks of how to make the delicious flavors of Italy work for your new diet. By focusing on portion control, and balancing your meals with healthy alternatives, you can enjoy Italian comfort foods and still live a healthy lifestyle!
Italian Comfort Foods Have Healthy Ingredients
Did you know that most of the staple ingredients in Italian cuisine are incredibly healthy? With juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and pure olive oil at the core of a majority of their dishes, Italian food is actually pretty great for those wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. One of the reasons American food is often criticized is that the ingredients aren’t always pure. Hidden ingredients and an abundance of cream don’t mix well with trying to fit into an old pair of jeans.
Opt. For Italian-Sized Portions
While virtually any food can be unhealthy if you eat too much of it, the same goes for Italian food. Italians eat pasta almost every single day and still manage to stay fit. One of their best secrets is in the portion. According to the LA Times, Italians eat a little something before the pasta course and have something after. They’re not basing the entire meal on pasta and this portion control helps them avoid overeating. Their bowls of pasta are just enough that you get about 10-15 bites. This helps satisfy your pasta craving while also keeping your meals balanced.
Healthy Italian Side Dishes
In Italy, a traditional meal has multiple courses. This helps balance the carb intake with healthy sides. Some great appetizers and sides to opt for when looking for a healthy balanced meal include fresh seafood, sauteed vegetables, and vibrant salads. Order a single slice of pizza instead of two and pair it with a salad or have grilled chicken and veggies for dinner with pasta as a side for a healthier dinner.
Experiment With Italian Seasoning
While everything tastes amazing when topped with cheese, parmesan isn’t the only option when seasoning your Italian comfort foods. Next time you grab a slice of pizza or enjoy a dish from your local Squisito, try topping it with different seasonings. Red pepper flakes, oregano, sea salt, olive oil, and basil are all great seasonings that enhance the flavor of your meal without the calories of cheese.
Eat like an Italian!
This year, with a little bit of planning, you can enjoy your favorite Italian comfort foods and still live a healthy lifestyle. At Squisito Pizza & Pasta we have a full menu of delicious Italian classic dishes and healthy sides, entrees, and salads to satisfy any craving. Grab your favorite slice of pizza and pair it with our Greek salad or try a dish off of our “mangia healthy” section of the menu for a dinner you’ll love tonight. Click here to find the closest Squisito to you, and enjoy the best ingredients Italy has to offer. Buon appetito!