FACT OR FICTION: IS ITALIAN CUISINE HEALTHY?
Italians are obsessed with their food and often claim that their lifestyle is the healthiest. Is there any truth to this? Can you enjoy pizza and pasta and still be fit?
DOLCE VITA, SWEET (AND HEALTHY) LIFE
Don't ask us if Italian food is the best! When it comes to La Dolce Vita, we are pretty biased. Still, the data is real: Italy is one of the healthiest countries in the world. This is all thanks to the Mediterranean Diet, a nutrition system based on fresh produce, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats, legumes, and a moderate intake of fish, meat, and dairy. This diet is proven to be life-extending…and it includes pasta!
PASTA IS NOT A FAT MACHINE
90% of Italians eat pasta several times a week, yet the country’s obesity rate is very low (not just compared with the United States, but also with many European countries). The secret is portion control. Italians typically use smaller portions than Americans. The average portion for a pasta serving in Italy is the classic cento grammi, 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces. Also, in Italy, pasta is only eaten at lunchtime, never at dinner. Therefore, pasta is not an indulgence. However, you should still take care to only choose the most authentic, made-in-Italy products. For example, Pasta Cuomo offers a stunning selection of pastas produced in the legendary Italian city of Gragnano, the official “pasta kingdom” near Naples.
Drink some espresso! Coffee stimulates your nervous system and has many positive health effects. It can help boost your mood and improve your energy; caffeine increases the metabolic rate and helps burn fats. Careful, though! You should drink coffee like an Italian, without unhealthy creamers or artificial foams.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Olio extra vergine d’oliva is the king of the Italian diet, the staple of any green, white, and red table. Olive oil – strictly extra virgin – is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are amazing for your body. Italians say: un buon olio è come una medicina, a great olive oil is a powerful medicine.
You will never find an Italian family eating on the couch or in front of the TV. In Italy, meals are a time to take a break and relax, a special moment to be fully enjoyed. So, don’t rush…take your time! This will also help you eat less. The slower you eat, the sooner you will feel full. Slow eating helps your digestion and improves health and well-being.
ONLY ONE RULE: QUALITY!
There is only one strict rule you should follow when eating Italian: pay attention to the quality of your food. Italians are very picky. This is why Magnifico created a boutique store committed to offer the American market the highest quality food and the best Italian specialties, sourced only from trusted companies.
- Donatella Mulvoni