Italian cuisine is one of the most famous in the world. There is no person who likes good food who has not tried pizza or pasta or has not bag for risotto for example. Undoubtedly, they are very tasty and therefore have millions of fans in all countries.
But is this food useful? Therefore, the fundamental question that many people ask themselves is do Italians have healthy cuisine and what does it mean.
What is Italian healthy cuisine?
Italian cuisine is not only very tasty, but also healthy. It is no coincidence that it is part of the so-called Mediterranean diet , which has many followers. Its popularity is easy to explain. Researchers have found that due to the peculiarities of the diet, Mediterranean people rarely suffer from heart disease and obesity.
Although in the usual sense, this is not actually a diet, but rather a set of healthy eating habits, typical of the people of the Mediterranean – Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Moroccans. The good thing about it is that there are no strict restrictions and rules.
This diet is based on traditional foods in the countries in the region of the Mediterranean. It is aimed at a balanced diet with useful products that are also very high quality.
The Mediterranean diet includes:
- Whole grains
- Fish and seafood
- High quality cheeses
- Lots of vegetables and fruits
- Beans and nuts
- Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey
Interestingly, people living in the Mediterranean region tend to eat high-fat , but have far fewer cases of heart disease and cancer than people living in other parts of the world.
This is unusual, as most high-fat diets are associated with higher levels of disease. One explanation is that this difference may be due to the use of olive oil instead of other types of fats.
However, the difference is more likely to be due to the overall diet, and not just olive oil. The Mediterranean diet is high in antioxidants in vegetables, beans and nuts – much higher than the typical Western diet, as well as low in saturated fat.
In this region, little red meat is eaten and milk consumption is also limited, with the exception of cheese and yogurt.
Another advantage of the Mediterranean diet is that it can be followed all the time , as it allows you to eat delicious, healthy and varied, and Italian cuisine fully meets these criteria.
Is Italian cuisine delicious?
Italian cuisine is the dream of every gourmet – to eat delicious healthy food. Everyone who has ever tried pizza or spaghetti knows that Botusha’s dishes are very tasty.
First of all, the taste and usefulness of food is determined by the products with which the Italians do not compromise. For example, only certain types of flour are used for pasta, some of which are whole grains.
The taste of the dishes is due to a number of other products used:
- quality Italian cheeses and meat products
- fresh vegetables and eggs
- excellent olive oil and others
Their amazing aroma is due to a bouquet of herbs and other spices:
- black pepper and others
Pizza and pasta are healthy and because they are mainly made using technologies such as baking and cooking.
Another healthy and very tasty Italian dish is risotto . This creamy rice-based dish is among the most popular representatives of traditional Italian cuisine . It does not require many expensive products and is easy to prepare. However, it requires special treatment and enough cooking time.
A special rice is used for the Italian dish – round-grained and high in starch, which retains its shape and hard core when cooked al dente .
It’s important to note that rice for risotto is never washed to preserve starch. You also need quality olive oil, meat or vegetable broth, dry white wine and spices.
If you want to eat something really tasty and healthy you can choose for example risotto with tuna and zucchini or vegetarian risotto with vegetables.
Italians also like to eat rich, tasty and healthy soups . The best example of this is the traditional Italian soup Minestrone , which is made from fresh vegetables. For its preparation use – carrots, potatoes, ripe and green beans, onions or leeks, zucchini, peppers, celery, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant and even pumpkin.
The more varied the vegetables, the better. Minestrone is a classic vegetable soup, but can also be cooked with meat. The soup recipe also includes small pasta or rice. It can be added basil, pesto sauce, parmesan cheese, wine or tomato paste . The result is a thick and vitamin-rich soup.
An interesting representative of fish soups is Kachuko , which includes at least 5 species of fish and various seafood . Like all Tuscan soups, it is very dense.
There are many recipes, but the most popular version of the soup is prepared of fish broth, red wine and tomato sauce, to which are added various fish and seafood.
Every nutritionist will tell you that for good health you should include more fish in your menu. Fish dishes make up a large part of healthy Italian cuisine. The long coast of the Apennine Peninsula is a prerequisite for catching and consuming fresh fish and a variety of seafood.
Fish in Italy is prepared in many different ways. It is most often grilled , but there are also many recipes with vegetables or sauces, which are made with wine or tomatoes. The dishes with mussels, shrimps, squid, octopuses, cuttlefish and other sea creatures are very tasty.
Coastal areas and especially the islands are famous for their seafood specialties. In Sicily, for example, they cook fish with onion rings, diced potatoes, zucchini, fresh mushrooms and baked olive oil.
Season with lemon and black pepper. In Sardinia, they make delicious spaghetti with bottarga – dried caviar, garlic and olive oil. In the area of Bergamo aromatic trout are baked with melted butter, wine and many spices – bay leaf, cloves, onion, pepper, parsley, sage and lemon.
Another example of a fragrant fish dish is Florentine fever. The fish is stewed with onions, mushrooms, tomato paste, capers, pitted olives, wine, ginger, oregano and cumin. All Italian classics – pizza, pasta and risotto, also have options with fish and seafood.
Fresh vegetables are also part of a healthy Italian menu. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli, etc. vegetables can be successfully combined with cheese, olives or seafood.
Also Italians like to eat fresh fruit. Their variety is great – apples, pears, bananas, oranges, tangerines , strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.