Italian food is a Mediterranean-style cuisine, possessing all of the associated health benefits. Mediterranean-style diets encourage healthy heart function and aid in cancer prevention, according to WebMD.
As a Mediterranean-style cuisine, Italian food is based on natural, simple ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, red wine, poultry, fish and very little red meat, reports WebMD. EatingWell suggests incorporating several of these items into any diet to replicate the healthy, fat-fighting benefits of Italian food.
Preparing and eating Italian food in a manner similar to Italians ratchets up the inherent healthiness of it, states WebMD. Italians tend to eat smaller portions and never in front of a television, computer or while sedentary for long periods. Meals are punctuated by lively conversation and a public stroll, the passeggiata. For want of sweets, Italians tend to choose fruit over junk food. On the whole, they do not drink soda or consume mayonnaise. A heavy reliance upon locally sourced ingredients is also key, and Italians prepare fresh ingredients, never precooked or prepackaged. Other ways to augment the healthiness of Italian food include skipping heavy cream sauces on pasta and using herbs, vinegar, lemon and capers to flavor foods. Try a simple vegetable pasta sauce and a tomato salad instead.