How To Eat Keto At An Italian Restaurant
If you’re following the ketogenic diet, you know that it can be very hard to stick with your meal plan while eating out. This task can prove especially difficult if you’re eating out at an Italian restaurant, where carb-heavy dishes reign supreme and keto staples like avocados and eggs are few and far between. But since Italian is a popular cuisine just about anywhere, chances are that your friends will drag you to an Italian restaurant at some point during your ketogenic journey. In an effort to preserve your social life, diet and sanity, we’re here to offer you tips that’ll help you stick to your keto diet when eating at your local pasta hot spot.
1. Start with a cheese platter, salami or carpaccio.
While you might be tempted to order the bruschetta or fried calamari for your starter, these appetizers sadly aren’t keto-friendly. Order a cheese platter instead with high-fat cheeses like mozzarella di Bufala, parmesan
2. Order simply-grilled fish.
Many classic Italian restaurants will have some form of simply-grilled fish on the menu. Branzino, a white, flaky fish that’s commonly found in Italian cuisine, is typically grilled with olive oil and topped with lemon, salt, rosemary
3. Avoid starchy side dishes.
It’s clear that you won’t be eating any pasta when following the ketogenic diet, but beware of those sneaky starch-heavy side dishes that are often present on the menu at Italian restaurants. You might order a fish dish thinking that it complies with your low-carb diet, but forget that it’s served with a side of mashed or grilled potatoes, two foods that are definitely not keto-compliant.
Avoid side dishes that involve root vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes
4. Load up on keto-approved veggies.
In the ketogenic diet, not all veggies are created equal. As discussed earlier, root-vegetables like potatoes, are mostly off-limits, but there are other veggies that you should eat in moderation — if at all. Some vegetables like carrots, onions
5. Know your sauces.
Like veggies, not all sauces are viewed the same on the ketogenic diet. When dining at an Italian restaurant, you’ll want to make sure that your dish is made with a low-carb, high-fat sauce. Stick with sauces made with butter, olive oil, mayonnaise, cream cheese, heavy cream or coconut oil. You’re in luck because authentic Italian food typically doesn’t include a lot of sauce and is often simply made with olive oil or butter, two keto-approved ingredients. Other popular sauces that are keto-friendly include béarnaise sauce, vinaigrette
6. Choose your alcoholic beverages wisely.
Many of us like to enjoy a drink with our meal when going out for dinner. If you choose to drink on the ketogenic diet, you’ll want to do so in moderation and stick to drinks that are lower in carbs. Dry wines, especially dry red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir
7. Order a tea or coffee instead of dessert.
For some reason, we all like to pressure each other into eating dessert. We don’t know why it happens, but it does — we can all admit it. So when you’re out to dinner with friends it can be tempting to give in to that pressure and order a dessert at the end of your meal. Instead of politely telling your server that you don’t want anything while your friends sigh and roll their eyes, which can be very uncomfortable, opt for ordering an end-of-the-meal cup of tea or coffee instead. If your bedtime isn’t too far off, opt for decaf coffee with a splash of almond milk, or herbal tea.