Eating Italian Food – Keep It Light

A staff II analyst in the transaction advisory services group of Ernst & Young, LLP, Maxine Hepfer is responsible for reviewing the real property portions of company audits and advising clients on real estate acquisitions, sales, and portfolio management. In her free time, Maxine Hepfer enjoys eating healthy food and is particularly fond of Italian cuisine.

Due to the large amount of pasta and heavy sauces used in many Italian dishes, Italian cuisine is not often regarded as very healthy. However, there are ways to make it lighter. Instead of choosing a pasta dish, focus more on soups and salads. Traditional minestrone soup is good for you because it is packed with vegetables and beans. Caprese salad and Caesar salads are also healthier choices for an Italian meal. If pasta just sounds too good to forgo, focus on eating pastas with red sauces instead of cream sauces, which contain more butter and heavy cream.

Another good way of making Italian food a bit healthier is to combine courses. Typically, a traditional Italian meal includes a second course that consists only of meat, but by combining meat with another course, such as pasta, the total amount of food ends up being less than the two courses separately. Furthermore, seafood dishes like calamari are a healthier option than some red meat dishes. However, this is only true for seafood that is cooked in wine broth or olive oil and has not been fried or breaded.