A Deeper Look Behind Why Everyone Says ‘Italians Don’t Get Fat’

“Italians don’t get fat.”

This is one common saying used when describing the food and lifestyle in Italy. Italians are known for their great foods such as delicious pastas, yet the obesity rate in their country is very low compared to neighboring countries. Why is that? If you are eager to know, then this article will do the trick for you.

Food Ingredients of Italians

Apart from those pastas immediately springing to your mind, there are many great foods in the Italian diet. As a matter of fact, their cuisine includes a range of tasty and fresh vegetables of different types that give a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. A good quality olive oil is actually a great source of monounsaturated fat that lowers cholesterol levels; whole grains also provide vital fiber and B vitamins. Lean proteins, be it in the form of fish, meat, or the pulses and beans that make simple dishes so comforting, help maintain cells and keep individuals feeling satisfied.

Italian Meal Portions

Italians typically eat small portions. If you’re Asian and it’s your first time visiting an Italian restaurant in Singapore, like Ricciotti, then you’ll probably be confused by the small food servings. You might wonder, “Is this the caprese salad I actually pay for almost $14?”

It’s unlikely Italians would regularly dine over a huge mountain of pasta drenched in creamy, full-fat sauce : they would be much more likely to tuck into a smaller bowl and accompany it with some delicious fresh vegetables or a salad, and perhaps a small piece of meat or fish.

Meal Time for Italians

A traditional Italian meal is an occasion enjoyed with a good company, be it friends or family.

A lot of us have hectic and busy lives, with convenience becoming the main objective. We are likely to wolf down food in front of the television or laptop screens.

Taking time to enjoy meals allows us to properly register when we have eaten enough, which take around 20 minutes for the brain to process that we’re full. Italians often slow down and take time when eating, mindfully savoring and enjoying the food. It also means we’re less likely to reach for a snack later on!

Italian food is typically simpler than cuisines of other countries. The home-cooked and healthy style is unlike the processed convenience food filling most of our fridges. It is no wonder then that Italians don’t get fat.

Photo by Vita Marija Murenaite on Unsplash

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