Italian cuisine, with its many pizza and pasta dishes, may not seem particularly healthy at first glance, but it’s an inescapable fact that the majority of Italians don’t diet, and they haven’t fallen prey to the obesity that plagues us in the UK and US.
According to an article in theIndependent, the traditional Italian diet conforms to principles laid down by dieticians – eat fresh seasonal produce, limit fats and red meats and stick to small portions.
It seems that we can all learn a thing or two from the Italian way of preparing and eating their meals, so if you’re keen to improve your health while keeping your weight in check, here are some suggestions for incorporating the Italian approach to food into your cooking.
Avoid Processed and Treated Foods
Italians make use of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables and adopt a minimalistic approach to farming. Over-processed foods contain additives that can be harmful to health, whilst pesticides compromise the taste and nutritional effects of our meals. Try following the lead of http://www.toscanarestaurant.ie/, an Italian Restaurant in Dublin which sources as many ingredients as possible from its family-owned organic farm in County Wicklow.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are packed to bursting with anti-oxidants, which encourage good health, along with a variety of important vitamins that keep your body fighting fit.
As anyone who’s ever been on a diet will know, restricting your food intake for a period of days or weeks may indeed encourage weight loss, but it also encourages an unhealthy fixation on food in general, and the majority of people find that the weight goes straight back on once the diet is over. Rather than limiting your food intake, try embracing the Italian method of smaller portions, packed with flavour. Savour every mouthful, and learn to take time over meals rather than rushing to finish them while watching TV or reading the paper.
Eat Foods to Promote a Healthy Heart
Eating a heart-healthy diet is credited with giving Italians their longevity, so embrace the effects of eating a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and fresh seafood, limiting red meat to a rare treat. Olive oil, used sparingly, is a healthy unsaturated fat, whilst seafood is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which have known health benefits.