A recent study conducted in Italy shows a correlation between consuming pasta and a lower BMI and hip circumference. The results showed that those with high amounts of pasta in their daily diet (remember, this is in Italy) actually proved to have a lower BMI and waist and hip circumference.
The study looked at approximately 15,000 adults >35 of the Molise region and 9,000 individuals over 18 across the nation. The participants were evaluated or asked about their weight, height, hip and waist circumference, and asked to fill out a questionnaire and a 24-hour diet recall. So does this mean we should all go on the pasta diet and eat noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Not so fast.
This study is really just further proving the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet. Have you ever visited Italy and wondered how every single Italian is beautiful and fit, yet their meals are long and there is a gelato shop on every corner? It’s all thanks to the make of their diet and quality of food.
A typical Italian diet contains high amounts of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, beans, fish, and unsaturated fats, particularly EVOO. And if there is one thing the world knows for sure about Italians, it’s that they know how cook. So naturally, everybody wants to eat their vegetables when they are formed into a masterpiece of a dish.
They eat pasta and bread moderately, and balance it with courses of vegetables and fish. The huge portions of pasta you might have ordered at an Italian restaurant in the States will not be found. In fact, huge portions of anything might not really be found.
Italians still eat heartily, but they know when they are full and they don’t eat themselves sick. Many meals are served family style so everyone portions out the amount they want and no food is to be left on your plate, you take what you can handle.
Even beyond the creation of the meal, the execution is even more important. Italians live to eat and they live life to the complete fullest. Dinners are an event filled with conversation and many courses, not to mention a healthy serving of wine. Nobody’s face is blocked by a cell phone and everybody sits to truly enjoy the meal at a reasonable rate, instead of scarfing the food down in order to run off to another engagement.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Mediterranean diet if it wasn’t paired with a relaxing stroll through town. Walking is a huge part of the Italian lifestyle and part of the reason they are able to live a fit and balanced life. Here are some great exercises for staying active if you can’t make it to the gym.