The Italian Mediterranean diet – La Cucina Italiana – Italian Cuisine

Complete and balanced, it does not exclude any food. You can eat almost everything, including cheeses, by eating healthily

The Mediterranean diet has always been considered one of the healthiest diets in the world. Several international studies have shown over the years that the diet followed by the populations that live in the Mediterranean areas allows one to live well and longer because it allows eating in a balanced and complete way. But there is more. The Mediterranean diet is also an excellent ally of the line. Hollywood stars are well aware of this, a new version of the Mediterranean diet, called the flexitarian diet, has been popular for some years. It is a flexible, mostly vegetarian food program that allows moderate and occasional consumption of foods of animal origin. "One of the strengths of the Italian Mediterranean diet is that it does not bore the palate. It satisfies the taste without giving up the pleasure of good food because it allows you to eat healthy and varied , explains the nutritionist Valentina Schirò. "Based mainly on vegetables and fruit, as well as cereals and derivatives including pasta, legumes, meat, fish, milk and eggs, it does not completely exclude that of foods often banned from other diets such as pizza, desserts and cheeses that can be consumed occasionally, maximum once a week .

Green light for vegetables

In the Italian Mediterranean diet vegetables are the protagonists of every meal. «They bring so many fibers that have a high satiating power. Moreover, they promote intestinal regularity, essential for keeping fit and healthy, "explains nutritionist Schirò. At breakfast, lunch and dinner at the table, therefore, you must give priority to fruit and vegetables with a prevalence of the latter. «They are an excellent source of vitamins, mineral salts, antioxidants that are precious to the body. However, the best way to stock it is to change variety and color often, "the expert suggests. Space in the daily menus also with dried shell fruits such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and oilseeds (flax, pumpkin, etc.). «They are excellent snacks that break hunger. They bring "good" fibers and fats that dampen the appetite between meals. To benefit from their properties, pay attention to the quantities. The advice is to consume a maximum of 30-40 grams per day. They have a high calorie content. They can also supply more than 600 calories in 100 grams , the nutritionist warns.

Yes to pasta

Pasta is one of the symbolic dishes of the Mediterranean diet. It has a high satiating capacity. "It provides complex carbohydrates that release energy to the body slowly. Moreover, it is very digestible and if combined correctly and consumed in the right quantities it can also be eaten every day. Yes to a good dish of spaghetti with tomato sauce or seasonal vegetables, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil. The pasta is also excellent together with legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.). Consumed at the same meal, they provide the body with all the essential amino acids for the synthesis of the proteins necessary for the muscles, "explains the expert.

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Spaghetti with tomato sauce.

Few foods of animal origin

"Yes to milk and yogurt, which can also be consumed every day." Ok instead of 2-3 times a week with fish and eggs; 1-2 times with meat, preferably lean, and with cheese. "Foods of animal origin provide valuable proteins for muscle health," the expert explains.

How to season dishes

"The absolute condiment to be preferred is extra virgin olive oil. The main food of the Mediterranean diet, however, should be consumed in small doses. The advice is to limit yourself to two tablespoons a day so as not to risk making the dishes too hot . Ok also with herbs and aromatic plants. «Basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, laurel are excellent salt substitutes. They flavor dishes without adding fat and calories, "concludes nutritionist Valentina Schirò.

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