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Can you really eat pasta when trying to lose weight?

Italian restaurants are a popular dining experience but without proper navigation, breads, pastas, and heavy sauces can easily add up. Try these tips when ordering from your favourite Italian restaurant.

  • Avoid the bread basket – It’s easy to indulge in a basket full of bread when you are hungry, so kindly ask your server not to bring one or limit yourself to 1 Starch serving, which is 1 small whole wheat dinner roll. Keep in mind that choosing bread might not allow for other starches, like pasta, in the meal.
  • Watch the fats – Be cautious of unrestrained use of items like olive oil and cheese, which are high in fat. Instead, opt for freshly ground pepper, oregano and/or crushed red pepper flakes to add flavour to your meal.
  • Decode the appetizer options – Antipasto options typically include cured meats, olives, and cheese, which can all be high in sodium and fat. Choose healthier appetizers such as non-cream based soups, vinaigrette-dressed salads, bruschetta, or mussels prepared in a tomato-based broth.
  • Go whole grain – Substitute starches (such as pasta, pizza or rice) with a whole grain, whole wheat, spelt, or brown rice variety for an added fibre boost. A ½ cup of whole-wheat spaghetti equals 1 Starch.
  • Build your own pizza – Custom-made pizzas can be a great way to include more vegetables in your meal. Ask for thin crust and explore a variety of different toppings like zucchini and red pepper. Cheeseless pizzas are also a great option!
  • Mind the sauces – Tomato-based sauces are much healthier than cream-based ones as they are lower in calories and fat. A ½ cup of pasta sauce equals 1 Free Exchange. You can also ask for the sauce on the side so you can control the amount added.
  • Get grilling – Proteins and many vegetables can be grilled instead of fried. Rather than chicken or veal parmesan, try grilled chicken or fish with a side of grilled vegetables.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth – If you’re craving something sweet, enjoy Italian ices, biscotti, or fruit with an espresso or cappuccino made with skim milk.

You can have healthy Herbal Magic approved Italian meals that will roll off your tongue and have you exclaiming “Delicioso!”

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