Italian food is often considered to be unhealthy. When we think of pasta and cheese, we think of gaining weight, and Italian food has its share of both. Like any food, eating in moderation is important. It is equally important to know which foods are particularly unhealthy.
Here are some Italian foods that are particularly unhealthy.
Chicken Alfredo. The cream sauce in Chicken Alfredo is especially unhealthy. Whether you opt to dine out or open a jar of sauce from home, the results are both unhealthy. Bertoli Alfredo Sauce with Aged Parmesan Cream was given a D- grade by Calorie Count. A ¼ cup serving of sauce has 110 calories, 5.0 grams of saturated fat, 40 mg of cholesterol, and 40 mg. of sodium. This is before you add the chicken and pasta, so it only gets worse.
Pizza. Pizza is loaded with cheese, sauce and various toppings on top of a crust. There are so many pizza variations that determine how unhealthy a pizza is. There are thin crusts, thick crusts, stuffed crusts. There are vegetarian pizzas and meat lover’s pizzas. There are pizzas loaded with extra cheese. One of the biggest culprits is the Pizza Hut Large Stuffed Crust Meat Lover’s Pizza. According to Calorie Count, I slice of pizza of has 500 calories, 11 grams of saturated fat, 75 mg. of cholesterol, and 1700 mg. of sodium. The really scary thing about pizza is that we rarely have only one slice of pizza, so those numbers are prone to multiply per slice.
Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta is an appetizer served at Olive Garden. It is a cheese dipping sauce made up of oven-baked smoked mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan and romano cheeses. The dip is served with Tuscan bread. It has 940 calories, 28 grams of saturated fat, and 1940 grams of sodium.
Spaghetti w/ Italian Sausage. Spaghetti made with Italian sausage is decidedly more unhealthy than spaghetti with ground beef or with sauce only. There is a lot of fat in Italian sausage. Olive Garden’s Spaghetti w/Italian Sausage proves this. It contains 1270 calories, 67 gram of fat, and 3090 grams of sodium.
Tiramisu, the classic Italian dessert consists of a creamy custard layered with lady fingers which have been soaked in Expresso. The Tiramisu served at Olive Garden has a whopping 56.5% of its calories coming from fat.
The great thing about Italian foods is the fact that they can easily be modified to be more healthy, especially if you make them at home. Use whole grain pasta, low fat cheeses, lean cuts of meat. If you choose to indulge in the food at some of the Italian restaurants, make it an occasional treat, and you will be fine. Just remember that moderation is the key.