Restaurants

The healthiest Bella Italia options

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Eating out at restaurants is an enjoyable social experience that you shouldn’t have to miss out on for the sake of your health journey. Many people worry that going to restaurants always means overindulging, however, it is possible to eat healthily when eating out.

Bella Italia is a popular Italian restaurant, that serves a wide range of dishes to suit different tastes. With so many options on the menu, it can be tricky to know what to choose, especially if you’re trying to stick to your healthy lifestyle. 

Eating out is often a much anticipated treat, especially after a year in lockdown. It’s perfectly ok to choose a more indulgent option if you want to. The important thing is that this isn’t a frequent indulgence, and you focus on finding the motivation to get back to your healthy habits afterwards. 

Science suggests that a reduced carbohydrate diet is the most effective diet for weight loss. Lower-carb diets are particularly effective for those who struggle with blood glucose control (e.g. people with type 2 diabetes). On top of this, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli or peppers), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.

To save you time and stress, the registered nutritionists here at Second Nature have gone through the menu and nutritional information of this popular chain and picked out some options that generally fit the bill of lower-carb balanced meals. Vegetarian options are marked with a (v).

Order without adjustments

These options can be ordered as-is and enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. 

Starters

  • Olives (v)

Order with a few adjustments

These options can be slightly adjusted to be healthier:

Starters

  • Houmous Pepperonico (v)

Avoid the bread and use olives instead to make this a lower-carb starter

  • Funghi Arrosto  (v)

You can leave out the bread to keep this starter lower-carb

  • Polpette Parmigiano

You can leave out the bread to keep this starter lower-carb

  • Gamberi aglio

You can leave out the bread to make this starter lower-carb

Mains

  • Bolognese 

Swap the spaghetti for a side of vegetables or a mixed salad

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Enjoy occasionally 

These are more indulgent options that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, just less often:

Starters

  • Garlic bread (v)
  • Ciabattini dough bites (v)
  • Bruschetta pomodoro (v)
  • Calamari fritti
  • Arancini al Granchio

Sides

  • Any pasta dish 
  • Any pizza dish

Desserts

If you fancy a dessert, it is completely fine to enjoy one occasionally. Consider sharing one with your company or, if you do choose to indulge, enjoy mindfully! 

When eating out, it’s important to be mindful of your portion size and check in with your hunger cues. Restaurant portions are often much larger than we would eat at home so don’t feel pressured to eat everything. You can always take leftovers home in a doggy bag for lunch or dinner the following day.

Take home message

  • There’s so many options to choose from when eating at Bella Italia, some more healthy than others
  • Lower carb diets have been shown to be the most effective for weight loss
  • If you want to indulge, enjoy your meal out without guilt and aim to eat healthy meals the next day
  • If you’re looking for a healthy meal, there are a number of healthy, lower-carb options you can choose from

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