Italian food is considered a Mediterranean kind of cuisine. The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world. This is fantastic news for anyone who loves dining at Italian restaurants like Frankies and Benny’s.
What is the Mediterranean Diet
While Italian food is Mediterranean, it is not the only kind of Mediterranean food, although it is one of the most popular in the world. Dishes that originated from the whole basin around the Mediterranean Sea are part of this diet. Cuisines from Israel, Spain, Greece, Syria, North Africa and, of course, Italy are part of this group.
Since the food is from various cultural and geographical sources, what is considered a Mediterranean meal can be very unique when compared to another dish in the category. Italians prefer to use pasta as the main portion of their everyday meals, and also as the primary carbohydrates source. People from the Middle East use plenty of barley and chickpeas as the staple of their meals.
Despite the wide range of sources for Mediterranean food, there are definitely similarities. These dishes have the common denominator of containing olive oil, fresh ingredients and specific food associations that link the way people from the Mediterranean region prepare their food. For example, there is the heavy presence of complex carbohydrates, fruits, fresh vegetables and more use of fish instead of red meat. In place of butter, olive oil is the preferred choice and is used as a type of condiment.
Based on research conducted by the American Heart Association, a standard Mediterranean diet is contains plenty of fruits, nuts and seeds, vegetables, small portions of dairy, olive oil, moderate portions of wine, small portions of poultry and fish, plus only tiny portions of eggs and red meat.
While it’s true that the Mediterranean diet contains high amounts of fat, not all fats are the same. The type of fats found in the diet is what’s known as “monounsaturated”, a very healthy kind. The Mayo Clinic reports that the standard Mediterranean diet is the ideal choice if you want to keep your heart healthy, and that people from the Mediterranean region eat really well for their bodies, based on information put together by the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Copying the Diet
If you want to consume a Mediterranean diet, eat a simple breakfast. For example, Italians usually eat a breakfast of one brioche or croissant, along with a serving of fruit and coffee. They also eat a minimum of two servings of vegetables daily and have two to three portions of fish per week.
Eggs aren’t eaten more than four times weekly. Stay away from fast food if you want to stick to this diet. You should enjoy pasta or rice up to five times each week and use olive oil as the dressing for your salads. Keep your meat intake each day to less than 100 grams.
If you’re too busy to prepare a meal at home, enjoying Italian food at places like Frankies and Benny’s will keep your heart without having to sacrifice taste.