Nutrition Bytes with Jessica Siegel, Registered Dietitian of Gelson's Markets | Health, Nutrition,
About This Show
Nutrition Bytes with Jessica Siegel of Gelson’s Markets is the show that's dedicated to helping you and your family make healthy choices when it comes to food and nutrition, even in the midst of our increasingly demanding schedules.
Most Recent Episode
S2E05 - Taste of Italy—The Mediterranean Way
Taste of Italy—the Mediterranean Way Gelson’s is celebrating the Taste of Italy in October and my role here is not to just create a delicious new salad for our stores, which by the way is called Jessica’s Tuscan White Bean Salad. (If you haven’t tried it yet, get yourself over to Gelsons service deli for a sample!) My job is also to educate our customers and listeners about the health benefits of Italian food. Before we go any further, I need to clarify what I have in mind when I talk about Italian food because I know that pasta, pizza, and gelato are the first things that come to mind when most people think of Italian food. Those are absolutely foods that Italians enjoy, but they are a small part of their overall diet. Portion sizes are much smaller than the portions of pasta and pizza we eat, and they are usually a small portion of a meal, rather than the center of the plate. Traditional Italian food is very simple. It emphasizes local ingredients which are very fresh and high quality. The foods that are eaten daily are vegetables, fruits, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, beans and lentils, grass-fed cheeses, and small amounts of grains. These primary ingredients are combined to make simple, delicious dishes. In doing my research for this podcast, there were several recurring themes that I picked up on that seem to make us some rules of Italian eating. The cardinal rules of Italian cuisine seem to be: Eat locally Eat seasonally Eat high quality, minimally processed food Eat at a leisurely pace Eat with other people It seems like Italians eat a lot less than we do, and I think that has to do with the quality of their food. It’s minimally processed, it emphasizes a lot of vegetables, and meals tend to be balanced and follow a certain order. All of these factors seem to contribute to the satiety of the overall diet. Breakfast is very light: just a coffee and toast. Lunch is the largest and most important meal of the day, and it usually includes 3 courses. Dinner is often simple, maybe just a bowl of soup or a salad. Perhaps most ironically, the most healthful way to follow the Mediterranean Diet with an Italian emphasis is to eat like a peasant, since this keeps the emphasis on plant foods, rather than meat and processed foods which traditionally were more expensive and therefore eaten less often than veg