Mangiare sano con la pasta
Eating healthy with pasta
The new pyramid of the modern Mediterranean Diet proposed by INRAN (National Institute for Research on Food and Nutrition) signals the foods to be included in the main meals and, going upwards, foods that should be eaten every day, but not necessarily in every meal.
For the first time Italians are told to eat the same quantity of meat (“not more than twice a week”) and pulses (“at least twice two servings per week”). The suggestion is to eat local product of the season.
This is the first time the pyramid is structured with foods (among which, pasta) that compose a main meal at the basement, and going upwards, other foods necessary to complete the meal, distributed according to the suggested frequency of consumption, daily or weekly. The aim of its creators was to suggest a revised Mediterranean Diet that considered modernity and well-being.
The new pyramid of Mediterranean Diet presents several new elements with respect to previous versions. At the base, in the fundamental part of pyramid, there are 4 new and important indications:
Being active means simply engaging in some physical activity (not necessarily sport) that it is not too intense (for instance, walking, jogging, swimming or cycling, gardening, climbing stairs and so on…) for at least 30 minutes a day and 5 days a week. Together with a correct diet, this is very important to maintain the weight and prevent several diseases due to sedentariness (obesity, hypertension, arteriosclerosis).
It indicates the pleasure deriving from spending time with other people. The pleasures of the table arise from experiencing the different tastes of different foods. At least three ingredients should be mixed to make the meal a convivial experience: conviviality has been discovered as a way to prevent alimentary diseases.
The seasonal nature of vegetables, even when they are used as pasta sauce, and of fruits is important, since it is proved how vegetables of the period have the best product and nutritional characteristics. Moreover, the timing of seasons matches the needs of our body in each period of the year.
Eating traditional and local product is a way to lengthen their life and protect the biodiversity, beyond preserving a world of flavours, recipes and traditions. Who consumes local products often know their origin, their ingredients and their story. A unique relationship with cooking and traditional food production is set, without neglecting the pleasure of food, the sharing of flavours and the good food traditions.
Allocation of nutritional elements in the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet contains on average:
– 55-60% of Glucides, of which 80% are complex (pasta, rice, corn…) and 20% are simple sugars;
– 10-15% of Proteins, of which 60% of animal origin (meat, mainly white) and 40% of vegetal origin (beans, chickpeas, lentils and pulses in general);
– 25-30% of Fats (olive oil mainly, butter, lard…)
The allocation of meals is normally on five daily moments, three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and two of support (half-morning and half-afternoon breaks).
Fruits and vegetables of the season play a very important role for their feature of supplying vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibres.
Summarizing table: food groups and consumption indications
|Food groups||Nutritional elements||Functions||Advice|
|Cereals: pasta, bread, rice, corn, emmer, and so on…
|Glucides (amid), vegetal proteins with average biological value, some vitamins of the B-family, fibres.||Energetic, plastic||– Choose preferably whole wheat products;;
– Consume cereals at breakfast, lunch and breaks. Avoid them at dinner;
– Limit the consumption of pizza, biscuits (-3 times a week);
– Consume 3-4 servings of different foods in this group every day.
|Fruits and vegetables
|Vitamins (overall, pro-vitamin A and vitamin C), minerals and antioxidants in general, water and glucides, fibres.||Regulatory, protective, energetic||– Limit the consumption of grapes, bananas, figs, fruit juices with sugar;
– Eat fruits mainly outside main meals (breaks).
|Milk and dairy products: cheese, yogurt, ricotta and so on…||Animal proteins with high biological value, minerals (highly disposable calcium, phosphorus… ) vitamins (overall B2 and A), glucides (lactose).||Energetic, plastic, regulatory||– Choose preferably skimmed or semi-skimmed milk and yogurt, fresh and low-fat cheese;
– Avoid cream and butter;
– Limit the consumption of aged and melted cheese.
|Meat, fish, eggs
Dry pulses: chickpeas, broad beans, beans, lentils, lupines, soy
|Animal proteins with high biological value, minerals (zinc, copper, highly disposable iron), some vitamins of B-family.||Plastic, energetic||– Choose preferably low-fat meat (poultry) and fish (cod, dentex…). Moreover, oily fish (anchovy, sardines, herrings, needlefish, mackerel, scabbard fish…)
– Eat fish at least twice a week, boiled or roasted;
– Limit the consumption of salami, meat and fat fish, entrails;
– Eat eggs without adding fats (à la coque, boiled).
|Seasoning fats: extra virgin olive oil and other oils, butter, margarine, lard, bacon-fat||Source of average biological value vegetal proteins, some vitamins of B-family and minerals (mainly iron). Fats, fatty acids, liposoluble vitamins A and E.||Energetic||– Limit fats in general, especially if they have animal origin or are fried;
– Choose vegetal fats and extra virgin olive oil.
Pasta ZARA products are designed for your health:
The best wheat selection for an historical product range. Able to satisfy all needs of shapes, quality and cooking. The pasta to consume every day to keep fit.
A pasta that maintains semolina’s features, but rich of fibres. They are the advantage of this product, of great help for our intestine.
Organic whole-wheat pasta
The values of whole wheat combined with the safety of durum wheat from organic agriculture, grown therefore without using fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals.
This is Pasta ZARA product range represented by an ancient cereal: emmer. It contains vitamins A, B, C, E, minerals, proteins and it is rich of insoluble fibres. Tasty and easily digestible.
Pasta ZARA gluten-free product range, studied for those affected by celiac disease. It is made from corn (70%), and rice (29,5%), included in the AIC reference book (Italian Celiac disease Association).
“Eat healthy with Pasta according to the New Pyramid of Mediterranean Diet”
a guide written by Silvano Rodato, nutritionist, for Pasta ZARA.