Pros and Cons of Pizza and Pasta Fast Food Restaurant

Nov 14, 2011 by

Pizza and pasta, as long as you control the portions and you are selective with the toppings, can be acceptable choices when at the restaurant. They are definitely much better alternatives than burgers and French fries.


How to make your pizza or pasta dish an acceptable choice

  • Stick to the thin crust if you are counting calories.
  • Ask your pizza maker to go light on the cheese.
  • Top your pizza with lots of vegetables: zucchini, onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc.
  • Ask the restaurant for the nutrition information on the foods they serve.
  • Order just enough for everyone at the table to avoid the one-more-slice syndrome.
  • Order a healthy garden salad with the pizza.
  • If you are sharing the pizza and your dining partner wants not-so-healthy toppings, order healthy toppings on one half and let your partner take care of the other.
  • If you count grams of carbohydrate, make sure the slices are average size.
  • Remember to order your salad dressing on the side.
  • If you order pasta and don’t have anybody to split it with,  order a small size.


Cons of pizza and pasta restaurants

  • There is always the risk of eating more than 2 or 3 slices of pizza. If you know extra pieces will be left over, ask for a container and pack them up before you start eating.
  • Do not order extra cheese, pepperoni, or sausage. They are quite high in calories and fat.
  • High fat toppings are also high in sodium.
  • If the restaurant promotes more toppings, bigger pizzas, or extra cheese just for a few more cents, ignore the promotion. You will pay much more when trying to get rid of the effects of the extra calories.
  • Do not order pasta with creamy cheese sauces. Tomato sauce is a healthier choice for your pasta
  • Pasta portions can be quite large. Order from the child’s menu or ask for a doggy bag and pack half of the past served to take it home.
  • If you are watching your calories, be aware that breadsticks and garlic bread have a lot of fat.


Healthy pizza toppings

  • Green peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Pineapple
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Canadian bacon
  • Part-skim cheese


Not so healthy pizza toppings

  • Extra cheese
  • Hamburger meat
  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Anchovies
  • Bacon


The bottom line

Remember that in most pizza and pasta restaurants, splitting and sharing is the way to go. Keep also in mind that you can design your own pizza. Be creative and choose healthy toppings.

To your health!

Emilia Klapp, RD,BS



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