Do Italians mainly eat the Mediterranean diet?


I read that they do and I want to verify that. I am not entirely sure what that all consists of either so if someone could explain that to me, it would be helpful. I know they love using olive oil and healthy grains. That is about it.


I have also read that they do eat the Mediterranean diet. This is what I found from Google:

a diet of a type traditional in Mediterranean countries, characterized especially by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein, and thought to confer health benefits.
"researchers found that people who eat a Mediterranean diet have lower odds of having a heart attack"


I don’t think a one size fits all stereotype applies to any group of people. Sure, areis some healthy foods to enjoy, but there’s lots of pasta, cheese, and bread in many of their traditional recipes. Also, don’t forget they have the same junk food that’s available in the U.S. including McDonalds.


Pasta is definitely part of their diet :smiley: I’m a big pasta guy and would love to have pasta there in Italy.


According to what I read, the main staples of the Italian diet are pasta (for sure) and fish. They fix pasta in many ways, some with just butter or grated cheese on top. The types of fish that are prevalent in Italy are sole, sea bass, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, tuna, eel, squid, and octopus.


Fish, really? I would not have thought that but then again I only know about “American Italian” dinners. I guess part of the reason they have been so healthy could be down to the fish itself really. I am not much of a fish eater.


It’s a peninsula after all, surrounded on all sides with water, with the exception of the Alps in the north. Fish dishes are aboundant.


I think there’s a misconception of what the Mediterranean Diet is. The Mediterranean Diet is varying and includes ALL kinds of food and that is its main value. Unless we’re celiac, have allergies or some kind of food intolerance, we don’t trust people who advise to totally eliminate certain types of food. Carbs are not evil (as some people often suggest in certain cultures) and they are actually a great part of the Mediterranean diet. This diet comprises a high intake of cereals (so yeah, also pasta, rice and bread), vegetable and fruits and moderate/low intake of proteines (meat, fish). I would say the majority of Italians follows this “diet” as it’s what this country offers. In Italy there is a high number of micro-climates and environments and you can find ALL kinds of products, so yeah our diet is quite varying and so “Mediterranean”.


I think Italians indeed eat a lot of their traditional dishes, but Im sure most of them also eat fast food or chinese takeout or whatever else they like. Its the same as everywhere else in the world. Nobody eats only their traditional national dishes.


@Tony that’s true. Nobody does that. In fact, I’ve noticed some Italians are very serious about eating local products and such, but others would eat sushi all day long, or meat, or I don’t know, fast food.

But in regards to Italian foods, I’v noticed here people eat a lot of pasta, cooked so many different ways! They eat vegetables, lots of vegetables! Which is so great, no wonder they so often live to be 100! They also spice their meals with healthy spices and olive oil, which is very healthy (unlike vegetable oil, from what I’ve heard). And last but not least, they know how to cook their meat! I mean, that ragu Bolognese or Italian steaks - oh my god, mouthwatering! Also, seafood. Lots and lots of seafood. I must say, I’ve learned how to enjoy squid, shrimp, clams and mussels here in Italy, I didn’t even look at them before I came here :smiley:


@Tony true, nobody eats only their traditional food, but Italians represent those people who are the most fond of traditional cuisine. 90% of the old people here turns up the nose at “ethnic” cuisine and foreign dishes. Fast food chains like McDonalds are basically only haunted by young people and it’s something they do not daily, but once in a while.


I agree with you guys, I`m sure a lot of Italians do indeed stick to their own food, and it is also no wonder, seeing as how tasty and awesome most of those are. I mean, if your national dishes would contain awesomeness like Pizza, Lasagna and sea food, you would definitely disregard junk like McDonalds, right? :smiley:


I’ve noticed this as well! And it’s not just the elderly, but the younger generation too!
Some are intrigued by other cultures and are willing to try new things (for instance, sushi restaurants around here are having a huge success!), but others admit to being the more traditional type and wouldn’t taste a different cuisine even if you paid them :smiley:


Most people in Italy eats traditional food, and this could change by region :slight_smile:
Pizza is Italian, and is consumed mostly in Campania or better Naples city and province…
Polenta is most used in north part of Italy…
I seen most of people eats pasta on regular basis… this much more then rest of the world :slight_smile:


Absolutely agree! I also think the diet from Northern Italy to Southern Italy and from coast to mainland, differs a lot!


Indeed, it depends on the microclimates and the kind of products that grows in that specific area :slight_smile:


This is true!
But you know what the interesting part is?
A couple years ago (I think) there have been studies made, and it turns out the food Italians consume most is bread, not pasta! I would have never guessed :smiley:


I can totally see this! They have bread with EVERYTHING, including pasta :smiley:


Including pasta… LOL! :smiley:

Yeah, and they have so many types of bread, too! They have regular bread, muffins, the ciabatta (my all time favorite bread, I must say!). In Sicily they have this bread called Mafalda, it’s very, very good! And I think Focaccia is also considered to be bread (someone please correct me if I’m wrong though). They use focaccia to make delicious sandwiches! The’re so good, I could eat them on a daily basis!