What is Healthy Eating?

What is Healthy Eating?

On a recent overseas trip that took in both Italy and Barbados, I was struck by the stark difference in

the diet and nutrition of the two countries. While Italians enjoy a diet of easily affordable fresh local

seasonal produce, the Barbadians have to make do with a diet of expensive imported and highly

processed foods, often high in fats, salt, and sugar. Fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are rare and

expensive, with most locals forced to buy canned products. Canned meat is highly processed and

high in salt and fat, while canned fruit often contains an excessive amount of sugar. These foods

are having an alarming effect on the health of the nation. The rates for diabetes, stroke and heart

disease are amongst the highest in the world, and growing at an alarming rate.

A Mediterranean diet by contrast, has long been considered effective in the fight against diabetes,

obesity and heart disease. In Australia we have access to relatively affordable fresh local produce,

so unlike the people of Barbados, it is easily within our reach to enjoy healthy eating Mediterranean


A couple of simple tips to healthy eating from the Italians

Eat fresh seasonal produce

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That means asparagus in spring, peaches in summer, oranges in winter, sweet corn in summer, apples in

autumn. Is there anything more simple and beautiful than late summer tomatoes with fresh torn basil drizzled

with a fruity olive oil? Seasonal, simple and healthy.

Eat your carbs during the day.

Obviously Italians love pasta, but in most Italian homes it would be served for lunch, the main meal of the day,

and as it would be an entrée, the serve would be small.

Keep your meat portions moderate.

Italians nearly always slice meat and poultry very finely. Think of prosciutto, scaloppine and carpaccio. This is

a great way to control portion size. One chicken breast in Italy could certainly be the protein portion of a meal

for a family of four. The meal would be completed with lots of seasonal vegetables prepared very simply.

Drink plenty of water

It is no coincidence that most of the big name Mineral waters are Italian. No Italian would eat a meal without

the “digestive” aid of plenty of water.

Eat fresh fruit

Although Italians do have a love of desserts, cakes and pastries, in most homes and restaurants you will find

fresh seasonal fruit the dessert of choice most of the time. Pastries are often eaten for breakfast, giving one

plenty of opportunity to burn off the sugar.

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