Disheartening News from the Fake Italians

I came upon an article this evening that has really broken my heart. I, along with most Americans, love Italian food; at least, we love the Americanized version of Italian food. But after reading this, I may think twice before indulging in some of my favorite dishes. You can get the entire article at or just read the main points here.

“If you wanted to enjoy the health benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet, you’d eat mostly fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and fish,” said CSPI nutrition director Bonnie F. Liebman. “But the heaping portions of meat, cheese, pasta, and cream sauces served up at Italian-style American chain restaurants are about as far from the ideal Mediterranean diet as you can get.”

• Lasagna Classico. 1,060 calories and 28 grams of bad fat. It’s like eating a BK Quad Stacker from Burger King, which has four beef patties, four slices of cheese, and eight strips of bacon.

• Spaghetti & Meatballs with meat sauce. The following nutrition numbers are not typos: Romano’s rendition of this classic dish provides more than an entire day’s calories (2,430) and nearly three days’ worth of saturated fat—an astonishing 57 grams. Or you could eat six Quarter Pounders for the same effect on your waistline.

“Keep in mind that these numbers don’t include any of Macaroni Grill’s peasant bread or Olive Garden’s unlimited breadsticks and salad,” said Liebman. “Nor do they include 1,000-calorie appetizers like fried calamari.

“You’d have to walk briskly for 11 hours or jog an entire marathon to burn off 2,800 calories.”

Now these are just two examples. Most of the other menu items are similar in nutritional value. Isn’t that disgusting??!! I’m not saying I won’t ever go to these restaurants anymore and order my Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce or Chicken Marsala, but it sure won’t be as fun anymore knowing what I’m eating!! Sorry for possibly ruining it for the rest of you, but I thought it was important information to pass on.

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