Tag: Food

The food of longevity? The pasta. The Americans say so – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana


Americans now know that pasta is a “longevity food.” This was announced by one of the world’s leading longevity experts, the highly followed doctor Dan Buettnerwith a video on Instagram in which he showed some images shot in an Italian village starring elderly people eating fresh pasta and more. All accompanied by a very attractive caption: «Good news if you love pasta! This group of people who live in the Mediterranean area (without specifying that it is Italy, in fact, even if it is obvious for us Italians that it is, ed) eats up to a quarter of a kilo of pasta a day. Not only do these people live longer than average, but they also have an obesity rate that is 1/5 lower than average.”

Pasta: the “new” food for longevity

In the video then Dr. Dan Buettner delves deeper and explains that the pasta is a concentrate of carbohydrates but if it is combined with legumes, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, the sugars it contains are absorbed more slowly and therefore the glycemic index of the dish is lowered. He also says that, particularly when combined with legumes, pasta provides all the essential amino acids, as happens for example with meat or fish.

Because the combination of pasta and vegetables lowers the glycemic index of the dish

Given the average American’s diet, which tends to be very high in saturated fats and sugars, Dr. Buettner’s advice makes sense. To be clear: a plate of pasta is certainly better than a hamburger. Therefore knowing that it is better to combine it with vegetables and legumes rather than greasy and unhealthy sauces is useful. However, the fact that this type of combination is successful in terms of blood sugar levels is nothing new. It is a well-known trick to combine vegetables and legumes with pasta and exactly why vegetables, rich in fibre, slow down the absorption of the simple and complex carbohydrates it contains. And this serves to avoid those glycemic peaks that can lead to weight gain in a healthy person, and even serious problems for those suffering from diabetes. Indeed, also to make us feel more satisfied, nutrition experts promptly suggest adding plenty of vegetables to pair with pasta. An example? Chiara Manzi, a pioneering nutritionist in Italy for studies on longevity, commenting on the diet of the oldest woman in the world, recently told us: «We should think of vegetables as an ingredient and not just as a side dish, also because they allow us to reduce the overall caloric intake of dishes, while simultaneously reducing the absorption of sugars. Last but not least, with vegetables you can enlarge the portions, and this makes you feel more satisfied.”

The Americans, Italy, the clichés

Judging by the comments, however, the American followers of the learned Buettner were stunned: evidently many did not know it. The post, in fact, collected thousands of likes and hundreds of comments, including many from Americans, children of Italian immigrants, who remember that their grandparents “they ate pasta five times a week”, and that pasta is a “religion” for us Italians. All this together with a long series of other clichés related to our way of eating and living which in their opinion would make our lives more fulfilling and longer. Some are very funny: lots of them they are convinced that here in Italy we live “in the midst of good air”. Maybe they are the same ones who have never been to Milan and don’t know the city’s pollution peaks, but that’s another matter.

The truth is that, if in some villages and villages surrounded by greenery there are still elderly people who eat healthily and exercise, here in Italy we are not exactly a model, not even in food terms: we have a very serious problem related to excess weight, with 33% of people overweight and 10% obese. Of course, a lower percentage than in the United States, where the obesity rate among adults is 35%, but that’s it.

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Party in Vico 2024 between food and “feelings” (also) with us – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana


«Festa a Vico is one of those places where anyone who loves food or works in the food world should go sooner or later. I have always thought this and when, two days ago, the maître d’ of a starred restaurant told me this phrase, I had the confirmation that even the professionals are convinced of it. Because the three days dedicated to gastronomy, meetings and charity organized every year by Gennaro Esposito, two Michelin stars at the Torre del Saracino in Vico Equenseis always everyone’s party: a meeting of pop and top, of popular and gourmet food, of traditional products and great novelties, to be discovered in the square, in the streets and in the great restaurants, simultaneously contributing to the many noble causes of which chef Esposito has always acts as a spokesperson.

Festa a Vico, the “feeling” edition

This year, the 21st edition, the appointment is from 10 to 12 June with the evocative title There is feeling and a program capable of embracing every nuance of food and that universal emotion that it is able to evoke. «Because where everything makes sense there is feeling to put it in the words of Pino Daniele.

Party in Vico e The Italian kitchen

Sentiment, therefore, but also a lot of concreteness, because Festa a Vico generates large numbers: this year 50 thousand attendees are expected, over 300 Italian and foreign chefs and more than 100 thousand food and wine delicacies. Among the news there is one that concerns us: this year we will also be there, in one of the most anticipated events.

Together with chef Gennaro Esposito, The Italian kitchen has thought of a new format for the traditional Festa a Vico gala dinner: a dinner with a title Bites of Italy, the celebration of Italian cuisine to support the candidacy of “Italian cuisine between sustainability and biocultural diversity” as a UNESCO intangible heritage promoted by our magazine. It will be an evening with a parterre of international chefs who will compete with Italian ingredients to propose dishes never proposed before. Among foreigners, for example, Narda Lepesbest female chef in Latin America in 2020 according to the international ranking 50 Best Restaurants; and then Christophe Peleexecutive chef Le Clarence Parigi (two Michelin Stars), Katsu Nakaji, two stars at Hatsune Sushi in Tokyo, and Antonio Iacoviello, head chef of Gucci Osteria in Tokyo (one Michelin star). Among the many Italians, Pino Cuttaia, two Michelin stars at La Madia (Licata) and the brothers Chicco and Bobo Cerea, three Michelin stars with Da Vittorio in Brusaporto (Bergamo) and seven overall in their restaurants around the world. A dinner for 240 people of which the entire proceeds will go to charities that operate at a local level, in the province of Naples and Campania, and nationally, such as the Umberto Veronesi Foundation.

The Festa a Vico program

The tastings of the dishes that chefs from all over Italy will create on 11 June, on the day dedicated to Republic of Food, among the streets, gardens, buildings and shops of Vico, which will be transformed into an open-air restaurant. Finally, on June 12th there will be the traditional one Sejanus Way in the fishing village where Gennaro Esposito’s Torre del Saracino restaurant is also located, which will transform into a haute cuisine experimentation hub with events dedicated to professionals bringing together young and promising chefs and sommeliers among the most appreciated in the world.

Last but not least, on each of the three days there will be parties, workshops, dances, songs, concerts and shows everywhere. All this in one of the most beautiful places in the world: la Sorrento Coast. In short, if you were looking for an idea to get started, here it is.

For the entire program, and to book places for the various events (including our dinner), click on www.festavico.com

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Why do you get sleepy after lunch? The “food coma” explained easily – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana


Because he comes here sleep after lunch? It is the most common question we ask ourselves, especially after having had a sumptuous Sunday lunch or on special holiday occasions such as Easter. Having finished a delicious Easter menu in style with a beautiful artisanal Colomba, coffee is not enough to keep your eyes open. All you want is to spend at least half an hour on the sofa – and if you are not at home this desire is likely to be truly in vain. So let’s understand together why after a big meal you feel exhausted and sleepy by investigating the postprandial drowsiness (o food coma). Let’s proceed in order.

Why do we get sleepy after lunch?

1. The digestive effort

The larger the meal, the more blood goes to the intestine to aid digestion. The digestive organs require large amounts of oxygen, which they achieve by reducing the blood flow in other districts in favor of the digestive one. With less blood supply to the brain, you feel sleepier.

2. Tryptophan

The large quantities of carbohydrates introduced during lunch favor the increase in the concentration of tryptophan, an essential amino acid present in many foods we commonly eat, including bananas, milk, tuna, cheese and chicken. This substance helps produce melatoninor the sleep hormone.

3. The parasympathetic system

During digestion, the parasympathetic system prevails, which promotes relaxation and restand at the same time the activity of the sympathetic system is reduced, which is instead involved in situations of fear and/or alert.

4. Carbohydrates

Foods with a higher glycemic index tend to cause spikes and subsequent crashes in blood sugar levels. In fact, to regulate the increase in blood sugar induced by the meal, the body produces large quantities of insulin, and this causes a sudden decrease in glucose levels, which can generate the typical effects of hypoglycemia, including drowsiness. It may be due to a drop in blood sugar when you are unable to concentrate on work or feel irritable and tired. Simple carbohydrates also make it easier for tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier, so their combination can cause drowsiness. Adding a little fiber (a salad, some Brussels sprouts) and filling your plate with protein can help counteract some of the lethargic effects of carbohydrates.

5. Alcohol

Wine can also help you feel relaxed and induce a feeling of drowsiness, although it can have a negative effect on the quality of sleep: it is always better to drink at least a few hours before going to sleep. If you fall asleep immediately after a meal, the quality of your post-prandial sleep may be compromised both by alcohol consumption and by the effort to digest all the food that has been eaten.

Useful tips when you get sleepy after lunch

Without giving up the pleasure of a particularly rich lunch, some precautions can be useful. Experts suggest have a good breakfast, perhaps based on wholemeal bread and eggs, which will help avoid overeating. Also drink a large one glass of water before the meal, in addition to helping maintain correct hydration, it induces the brain to think of reaching a sense of satiety sooner. Another strategy for feeling fuller is to chew five to ten times before swallowing. Then, if after lunch we still feel sleepy, no big deal: it’s a holiday, and we have plenty of time to rest.

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