Italian Cuisine: the healthiest options for raw foodists and vegans

insalata di frutta e spinaciI love Italian food, but it’s not always the healthiest.
If you have just started a rawfood diet or you’re a vegan and you are trying to improve your diet, going to a restaurant can be often a problem.
Furthermore, if you have specific needs, for istance you are following a low fat raw food diet, the choice become restricted to just a few of possibilities.

So, what should you eat there to enjoy yourself, while minimizing the impact of your little indulgence?
Italian salads are generally fine to eat, and contain a lot of healthy greens like arugula. But, make sure to ask for dressing on the side, because they tend to use a lot of olive oil. You can ask for no dressing but it’s not a common request. So I just ask for dressing on the side, and don’t use it.
Risotto is generally loaded with butter, oil and cheese.
Gnocchi in tomato sauce is usually a good choice, though. It’s made with potatoes and the tomato sauce is not very heavy.
Pasta is a good choice, and usually in a real Italian restaurant the serving is reasonable.
If you want a pizza, the only vegan option is the “marinara”, with tomatoes, garlic and origan (but you can always ask to ad some vegetables). For a low fat diet, ask to not to add olive oil. Other options are vegetarian pizzas with light cheese like feta or goat cheese, but most of the restaurants will have only mozzarella.

insalata di frutta-ortaggiOne of my favorite side dishes in Italian cuisine is a plate of cooked greens! It usually contains a lot of olive oil, so you can ask with no added olive oil. It might still come with some, but at least they won’t drizzle extra on top.
In authentic Italian restaurants, you’ll also find a side order of beans, or a minestrone soup loaded with beans and vegetables.
I’m personally not going to go to an Italian restaurant without having some wine (or prosseco) and some gelato as dessert. Though it’s an indulgence, it’s not a big one, because Italian gelato is fairly small. You can also ask for non-dairy versions.
Plates of fruits can be ordered in all good Italian restaurants.
You just have to look for the best spots in your city, hoping to find staff available to your requirements. If you know any special place in Rome where would you go back willingly, let us know by commenting on this article! 

Edited by Laura and Marco Staff of Raw&Health

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