Is Italian Food Healthy (Good for You)?
Leading a healthy, happy lifestyle is something that we all strive for. But, that doesn’t mean you have to throw your favorite foods to the side forever. So, let’s get straight to the point, is Italian food healthy? While Italy is best known for pizza and pasta, there are tons of delicious, healthy Italian dishes worth exploring. And, because Italy is overflowing with a host of healthy fruits and vegetables, its cuisine traditionally comes packed with nutrients. Needless to say, you should consider having Italian food more often! Here are the top reasons why Italian cuisine is surprisingly healthy.
1. Fresh and Natural Products
Authentic Italian food is often prepared with carefully selected fresh produce. Staples such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and seafood are rich sources of vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, Omega 3’s may help fight inflammation, lower cholesterol, improve your risk factors for heart disease, and much more.
Additionally, grains found in the bread, pasta, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, all contain fiber. Fiber helps promote healthy digestion, maintain optimal blood sugar levels, and reduce cholesterol levels. Not to mention, the indigestible carbohydrate supplies you with the sustained energy you need to take on the day.
2. Weight Management
Did you know that the obesity rate in Italy is significantly lower than the world’s average? It’s true, and this is probably due to the traditional Italian diet. Interestingly, about 15% of purchases in Italian supermarkets are comprised of vegetables and fruits. Needless to say, vegetables and fruits are low in calories and rich in nutritional value. So, it’s no wonder why so many people are healthy in Italy!
Moreover, to fully realize the health benefits of Italian food, be sure to look out for traditional Italian food. It’s estimated that Americanized Italian food has about 82% more calories than traditional cuisines. So, if you’re looking to shed a few pounds this year, stick to traditional Italian cuisine.
3. Minimal Processing
Perhaps the most-overlooked reason why Italian cuisine is good for you is because very few ingredients are processed. In fact, most authentic recipes call for no more than five or six minimally processed, seasonal ingredients. Specifically, products such as pasta, bread, oily and even some dairy products remain untouched during the cooking process to maintain their authentic tastes.
4. Heart-Healthy Ingredients
The staples in Mediterranean cuisine, such as fresh fish, olive oil, and salads are perfect for a heart-healthy diet. Many Italian ingredients, like spinach and onions, are also rich in Vitamin A, selenium, beta-carotene, lycopene, and unsaturated fats. Overall, these essential vitamins help to reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases and cancer, as well as lower blood pressure. Even more, healthy antioxidants may aid in speeding up the body’s metabolism, as well as cleanse the body of free radicals.
6. Social Health Advantages
One of the most important aspects of Italian meals is sharing the food! Sharing a meal at the dinner table allows everyone to take a break from their day to bond and tell stories. Also, family dinners may help to improve mental health and promote a healthy lifestyle. At Spizzico Italian restaurant, we provide a warm, inviting space so you can enjoy a lovely meal with your family and friends.
Try Out Our Italian Menu Today
So, is Italian food healthy? Definitely. From top-notch heart health to weight management and social life, Italian food is, without a doubt, an excellent addition to your lifestyle.
At Spizzico, we offer a diverse menu of healthy Italian foods including gluten-free meals, handcrafted pizzas, ravioli, gnocchi, and more. Contact us today at 443-214-5121 to place your order. We serve both Arnold and Edgewater, MD.