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My trip to Italy, and why Italians don’t get fat.

Italians don’t get fat is a popular saying used to describe Italian food and lifestyle. Italian are famously devoted to their great food, yet their obesity rate is really low compared with the other countries in Europe and in the United States. In the article, I will offer you some tips how to eat good and shed the pounds, and still enjoy la dolce vita!  How The Italians Don’t Get Fat In The Land Of Pasta And Pizza?  Italy is a Mediterranean country where obesity and overweight are rare despite an abundance of pizza, pasta, and many other delectable meals. So, the question is there Italian diet secret we can learn from, too? Many studies found that a Mediterranean diet has numerous health benefits, from reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, to living a healthier, longer life. However, something must be getting lost in translation. Many of the British’s favourite Italian foods, such as spaghetti carbonara and pizza, are everything but healthy. On a recent trip to Italy, I decided to see for myself why the Italians don’t get fat. My trip started in Florence in the northern Italy, in the Tuscany region, and ended 6 days later further east in Venice. Apart from sight seeing and the obligatory sun bathing my mission was to finding out more information that I can share with you on my blog - how the people in Italy manage to enjoy delicious Mediterranean foods, still maintain healthy weights. So, in this article I present you some tips, little secrets, why Italians don’t get fat: Dine Leisurely It quickly became very clear that the Italians, just like some other Mediterranean countries, know how to really enjoy the experience of eating. They socialise and relax while dining over dinner. Before and after dinner, most people in Italy engage in a leisurely stroll through town, called passeggiata. Peers walk together, talking and keeping alive a valued tradition. As a person who has an Italian grandma and has enjoyed home cooked Italian food for most of his life I can say that the classical Italian diet is very different from what we see on an British - Italian restaurant menu. People in Italy enjoy a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, beans, tomatoes, poultry, whole grains, olive oil, red wine, dairy ― and they consume very little red meat. Usually, Italians start the day with a quite small breakfast of coffee with/or without milk along with a cornetto (a small biscuit) or cereals. Lunch varies all over the country and from family to family but normally consists of a “1st plate” and “2nd plate,” such as a salad and sandwich, or a small plate of some pasta followed by a little piece of chicken or fish and vegetables. Stop When You’re Full Many people in Italy aren’t concerned with calories because they usually stop eating when they are full. Italians also lead an active lifestyle, with lots of bike riding or walking, mostly in urban areas. Moreover, they usually satisfy a sweet tooth with fruits instead of sweet desserts. Balance Quality And Quantity

Italians simply balance the quality and quantity of foods ― not too much fat, just a little red meat, lots of chicken, turkey, and fish, and just enough carbohydrates. Extra virgin olive oil is the preferred one, used extensively on salads and in cooking. However, you won’t usually find it on the table for bread dunking as people enjoy in Britain. People in Italy enjoy the monounsaturated fat, but they don’t overdo it. These healthy fats are much better than saturated or trans fats, but olive oil is also a fat and it needs to be consumed in limited quantities. Enjoy Homemade Meals Beans are a great part of the Tuscan diet, which are high in soluble fiber and protein that fill you up for a longer time for a few calories. Pasta e fagioli and ribollita soup are 2 popular health dishes with beans. Balsamic vinegar is another flavorful, very low calorie, product of Italy, which is used freely to flavor salads and other foods. South of Italy, artichokes, the fresh fish, herbs, gigantic lemons, and capers contribute to healthy and delicious cuisine. Pasta is typically served al dente, with some olive oil or vegetables and tomato sauce, and always in small portions. Do Not ‘Diet’ Italians learn to eat well and just enjoy something sweet on occasion, and this way they aren’t frustrated. That is so right! Because when people go on diets, they usually get depressed and gain even more weight. Therefore, the next time you are in the mood for Italian food just serve up a dish that includes all the health benefits of a well-balanced Mediterranean diet. Try to skip cream sauces on pasta and fried foods. Instead, go for a simple vegetable pasta sauce, tomato salad, and use some olive oil. Moreover, use lemon, herbs, capers, vinegar, and other low calorie foods for seasoning. Italians typically eat smaller portions than our quite huge ones. An Italian mealtime should be a relaxed occasion enjoyed in the great company of family and/or friends. Most of us have such busy lives that meals are often an afterthought, with suitability becoming the central meal time aim. It is not uncommon to wolf down meals at our desks in front of the computer screens, or at home in front of the TV. Search from some healthy Italian meals and try to prepare them at home. Cooking at home and avoiding junk food and restaurant food are some of the reasons why Italians don’t get fat. So, always opt for homemade food and try to be active after eating.  

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