Italian cuisine is arguably one of the tastiest in Europe. When you think of Italian cuisine, do you think of unhealthy food? That's actually not so bad! Did you know, for example, that Italy is in the top 10 of the high-age countries? This is largely due to its eating habits. In this article, you will read four health lessons we can learn from Italian cuisine.
The pioppi diet
Pioppi is a village in Italy with 300 inhabitants. These inhabitants are the longest-lived people in the world. This is because they live according to the Pioppi diet. Namely, they eat foods rich in vegetables, fruit, olive oil and fish. The Pioppi diet thus consists of few carbohydrates but a high-fat diet that encourages eating lots of vegetables, nuts, legumes and fish.
In the Netherlands, you might be quick to think that Italian cuisine is not very healthy at all. But they actually eat very healthy food in Italy. Traditional Italian dishes often consist of only a few ingredients, and these ingredients are usually unprocessed. In addition, Italian dishes contain a lot of vegetables. In fact, Italians eat about 452 grams of vegetables a day on average! They also use healthy fats, such as olive oil and low-fat meat. Italians eat small portions, which of course also makes a difference. Where we eat a plate full of pasta, Italians eat a small pasta as a starter. The main course consists mainly of fresh vegetables and good fats.
The tastiest vegetables
That Italians use a lot of vegetables is already well known. The following vegetables are used most often in Italian dishes: tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, peppers, fennel, spinach, mushrooms, rocket and pumpkin. You can incorporate these vegetables into almost any dish and they give a healthy addition. Less is more! Don't use too many different vegetables in one dish. Choose a maximum of two different vegetables and add olive oil. This really brings out the flavour of the vegetables.
What about all that cheese?
Cheese is used in abundance in Italian cuisine. But if we look at which cheese, we are not talking about very fatty or unhealthy cheeses. Above all, you shouldn't eat too much of it. Take mozzarella for instance, this creamy cheese contains lots of vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, beta-carotene and above all protein. In addition, it contains little salt. Besides mozzarella, you have, of course, Parmesan cheese. You don't need much of this cheese because of its strong flavour. Parmesan is also rich in proteins and calcium