Jamie Oliver Reveals the Secrets of the Italian Diet

Dana Covit

We Americans get captivated with the charm and seeming magic of European ways of doing things (decorating and dressing like the French, for example). It seems our European friends are simply doing it right. Italians, for example, traditionally eat diets full of tasty starches, oils, red meats, and wine. But that doesn't keep them from living long lives! So, what's the secret, or secrets, as is the case here? Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver helps us make sense of the Italian diet so that we, too, can live long, eat well, and prosper. Read on for three elements we can all work on.

Ingredients

  • Fresh, healthy vegetables "in a rainbow of colors... which provide a huge array of fantastic vitamins and minerals."
  • High-quality olive oil, which is a good source of cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat.
  • Wholegrains for good fiber and B vitamins.
  • A little lean protein in the form of meat, fish, or the beans to keep everyone full and satisfied.

Portions

Smaller portions of main courses accompanied by vegetables or a salad would be customary.

Time

Most importantly, a traditional Italian meal is one that is enjoyed slowly, in the company of family and friends. "Taking time over meals," the post notes, "allows us to properly register when we have eaten enough, so we’re much less likely to overeat—it can take around 20 minutes for the brain to process and send signals to the body to let know us know we’re full."

Would you like to adopt some of these "secrets"?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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