“How do you eat pasta every day and stay so skinny?” Inquiring Americans want to know.

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Here’s Why Italy’s Obesity Rate Is Lower Than America’s

The Mediterranean diet is a staple diet for many Italians, but it’s the opposite of how many Americans eat
“How do you eat pasta every day and stay so skinny?” Inquiring Americans want to know.

Wikimedia Commons

“How do you eat pasta every day and stay so skinny?” Inquiring Americans want to know.

But there is more to the Mediterranean diet than just eating pasta every day: It’s all about portion control. The recommended serving of pasta according to Buitoni is 80 grams (2.8 ounces) of durum wheat pasta, or 115 to 120 grams (4 to 4.2 ounces) of egg-based pasta. That’s a far cry from the heaping portions of never-ending pasta you can get at most Italian restaurants. Italians also cook pasta with plenty of vegetables and beans, from the classic tomato sauce and eggplant ragu to pasta stuffed with mushrooms or topped with seasonal vegetables like zucchini and squash. 

Besides portion control, Italian culture plays a huge role in the success of the Mediterranean diet. Rarely do Italians eat on the go; meals are sit-down affairs that are — whether formal or informal — a social occasion. Food is often shared family-style, and sad desk lunches are unheard of.

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“The communality of the meal is a crucial part of a balanced diet it helps us enjoy food in a more frugal way,” Cecconi said. “We sit down and eat together. Even if I have no one to eat with, I set the table and make a moment for myself. Food is never rushed.”