Is it possible to love good food and be healthy? It sounds like a rhetorical question, but since this is the title of a serious and scientific seminar, this question deserves new answers.
And the answers were given by famous health scientists, such as Luigi Solmi (Head of Gastroenterology division at Rimini hospital, Italy), Raffaele De Caterina (full Professor, cardiovascular diseases, University of Chieti, Italy), as well as Massimo Montanari, the renowned food historian (full Professor of History, Cultures and Civilizations at the University of Bologna, Italy).
We focused on this delicate and passionate topic under the direction of Sergio Cocchieri, Professor of cardiovascular diseases at the University of Bologna and national representative of Alt (Italian Associationto combat Thrombosis and Cardiovascular Diseases).
We all would like to eat well and taste the huge offer that only the Italian cuisine can provide and… surprisingly enough… we can! Healthy food, starting from good cereals, like pasta, bread, rice and corn, help prevent the century diseases – this was the conclusion we came to.
However, be careful not to gorge yourselves on titbits: three essential rules should be borne in mind. First, you should not to suffer from any particular disease. In that case, things are different, as the scientists have underlined.
Second, cut down or even cut by half what your mind orders your mouth to eat (or vice-versa) and get used to tasting, instead of eating too much.
Third, everyone is different. Each person has to try out his/her own food plan – do not call it diet – and find out what is good or not so good for his/her health, thanks to science. Having said that, we can eat good food, taste a bit of everything, be healthy and prevent unpleasant diseases.
Another pretty obvious question would be: did we really need all these “big professors” in order to draw these conclusions? Of course we did, since conclusions that are supported by scientific testing comfort and reassure us.
Let us take Italy for instance, one of those countries that are famous for their Mediterranean diet, based on cereals and derived products. It is probably for this reason that life expectancy in Italy is among the highest in the world, second only to Japan. And Japan probably owns its longevity to a sort of restrictive diet. In a nutshell, Japanese eat much less than Italians by culture.
Italians still eat reasonable quantities of food, maybe too much in certain periods of their life. Obesity is visible between 9 and 14 years of age, but it seems to improve later on for two reasons: new lifestyles on the one hand and the economic crisis on the other, since people cut down on fat and sugar consumption. In this scenario, in Italy bread consumption dropped too, much more than pasta that is recommended – in reasonable quantities – by any nutritionist.
Even celiacs have a good choice of gluten-free pasta now. So, eat pasta and you cannot be wrong, as a famous nutritionist suggests: “Eat a small dish of pasta in the evening because it is easily digestible, help you stay healthy and help you sleep well thanks to serotonin”. Good night.