How many calories … in an antipasto plate?

When I visit my favorite Italian restaurant, I’m hard-pressed to find an appetizer to fit into my health-conscious eating plan. Steering clear of the fried calamari and pesto bread, I’ll often talk my dinner partners into sharing an antipasto plate. I mean, what’s not to love about a fresh, eye-pleasing assortment of cheese, marinated vegetables, olives, hard-boiled eggs and other healthy goodies?

So, feel like hazarding a guess on how many calories are in a standard antipasto plate? Is it:

(a) 390
(b) 436
(c) 630
(d) 783


Answer: (c) 630 calories (and 47g fat, 15 of them saturated!)

Apparently there’s a lot not to love about this popular Italian appetizer. If you were to polish off the entire plate, you’d end up with 75% of the fat and saturated fat and all, or more, of the sodium you should eat in an entire day. You would have been better off with another classic Italian dish anyone hardly thinks of as healthy: Veal Parmigiana, which contains 650 calories and 36 grams of fat, 12 of them saturated.

But this doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy this mangia-licious meat-cheese-veggie spread. Just be smart about it. Ask for the oil and vinegar or other dressings on the side and use just a little bit. You can also ask the kitchen to bulk up on the veggies — like olives, kidney beans, peppers, even hummus — and skimp on the meat and cheese.

[Source: Restaurant Confidential (book)]

Author by Kristi Anderson