If you want to lose weight and not harm your health, first of all, you need to remember the golden rule: food should be varied and balanced, rich in vitamins and mineral salts. If at the same time it is also delicious, then this is Italian cuisine!
The average Italian's weekly diet is very varied. If you still think that Italian cuisine is all about endless pizzas, pastas and lasagna, you are wrong. Pizza is eaten no more than once a week, and lasagna and other types of oven-baked pasta are festive dishes. Regular Italian food is much simpler and contains fewer calories than the famous flour products.
How do Italians manage to stay slim and beautiful? They follow very simple rules of healthy eating, which help not only to keep the body in excellent shape, but also to remove toxins from the body, while saturating it with the substances necessary for a vigorous and active life.
Rule # 1. Plenty of water
In restaurants and cafes, in shops and kiosks, water is the most popular product. And not only in summer. They drink water all year round and do not hesitate to take it with them. Neither tea nor coca-cola helps to remove toxins and establish metabolic processes in the organism, unlike water. Two liters of clean water a day is enough to keep your body healthy.
Rule # 2. Large amounts of vegetable protein
We know that proteins are the foundation of healthy cells. They contain amino acids important for our body. It is impossible without proteins. What is the plus of vegetable protein? Contains no cholesterol and saturated fat. Easy to digest, low in calories, do not leave extra pounds on the hips. They do not cause accelerated cell growth and do not provoke aging of the body, in contrast to animal protein.
The Italian diet always contains legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, dried fruits. Dishes made from beans, chickpeas or beans are in perfect harmony with boiled or stewed vegetables. Italians are great masters in creating culinary masterpieces from legumes.
Foods: beans, peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and brazil nuts, broccoli, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, asparagus, celery.
Rule # 3. Durum wheat and whole grain pasta and bread
These carbohydrates are called complex sugars, they are digested very slowly and create a long-lasting feeling of fullness. However, if you decide to lose weight, then it is better not to overuse pasta. One serving - 75-100 grams of dry pasta. And remember, pasta is lunch! The main intake of carbohydrate food, which promotes weight gain, is always in the morning for Italians.
Products: Italian pasta of all types and colors. Attention, the label should have read: grano duro!
Rule # 4. Lots of olive oil
All salads, as well as boiled vegetables, must be seasoned with high quality olive oil. Even canned food is made on its basis: artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, eggplants fried with hot peppers, as well as tuna and sardines in oil - you'll just lick your fingers!
Olive oil is a source of unsaturated fatty acids that the body needs. And also a storehouse of such useful components as oleic and linoleic acids, vitamins A, D, E, K, various phenols, which slow down aging and strengthen the immune system. Olive oil helps reduce body fat.
Products: extra virgin extra virgin olive oil
Rule # 5. Fish and seafood - at least three times a week
Fish and seafood are sources of protein, calcium, phosphorus and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. In addition, they contain such minerals as selenium, manganese and zinc, they slow down the oxidative processes in the body and maintain the elasticity of the skin.
Products: dorada, mussels, mullet, scorpionfish, sea bass, squid, shrimp, cuttlefish, crustaceans, crucian carp and much more.
Rule # 6. Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are the basis of all meals
In spring - risotto or omelet with asparagus, cuttlefish with peas, in summer - grilled peppers, eggplants, zucchini, green beans, all kinds of salads and a huge number of dishes with fresh tomatoes. In autumn - spinach with mozzarella, broccoli and cauliflower dishes. In winter - baked artichokes, vegetable minestrone, brine stewed in oil - a spicy variety of broccoli.
Vegetables and fruits saturate the body with vitamins and minerals all year round without unnecessary calories. In addition, they are rich in fiber, the benefits of which even a child knows about.
Products: tomatoes, olives, zucchini, eggplant, chicory, romano salad, iceberg lettuce, rucola, asparagus, pepper, broccoli, spinach, watermelons, peaches, melons, apples, pears, plums, figs.
Rule # 7. Low Calorie Pasta Sauces
Italians never eat empty pasta: they are always seasoned with appetizing sauces. Most are low in calories as they are based on olive oil and vegetables.
For example, the famous pesto or the simple tomato sauce - salsa di pomodoro - are made from all plant products. Pasta with zucchini and shrimps or with mushrooms and green peas is extraordinarily tasty.
Rule # 8. Cheese and meat
It is impossible to imagine Italian cuisine without cheeses! Parmesan, pecorino romano, grana padano, gorgonzola - all these delights have their rightful place in Italian cuisine, however, they are rarely used. Basic cheeses are fresh, healthier, and much less fat and calories than aged ones. Ricotta, caccio ricotta, mozzarella, scamorza - the main thing is not to abuse it. If you're on a diet, you can eat no more than 50 grams of mozzarella for dinner.
Of course, Italians love to eat meat. But don't abuse it. They also found a golden mean here, which is approved by all the doctors of the world: 1/3 of animal protein and 2/3 of plant protein. It is this combination that balances the balance of elements in the body.
Wonderful steaks, all kinds of sausages, aromatic chicken breasts, meat sauces - all this is also part of the rich and varied Italian cuisine.
Rule # 9. Enjoy the process
Italians know how to enjoy food: they are never in a hurry at the table, they eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly, thereby starting the process of digestion at the very initial stage. Well-chewed food is easier to respect and less burdensome on the stomach. And, of course, the feeling of fullness comes faster, so overeating is not threatened.
Moderation, beauty and harmony are characteristic of Italian cuisine. Food should not only delight the taste, but also create bodily beauty, be the basis of good spirits and well-being.
Photo: Getty Images
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