The Italian Almanac

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fattening holidays

Fattening Holidays

Italians gained an average of between two and three kilos over the Christmas and New Year's holidays and will now have to stick to a fruit and vegetable diet if they want to lose the undesired weight, according to the Coldiretti farmers' union. During the holidays 'Italians consumed over 100 million kilos of Christmas panettone and pandoro cakes, 80 million bottles of sparkling wine, 20,000 metric tons of pasta and eight million kilos of Christmas sausage and dried fruits, bread, meat, cold cuts, cheese and sweets, for a total value of almost six billion euros.

According to nutrition experts, the average Italian consumed between 1,500 and 2000 calories more than normal per day by eating high calory foods and drinking alcoholic beverages, while ignoring essential foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. Not only did Italians put on weight by eating and drinking more, but also by moving about less, thanks to long hours spent at the table with family and friends. In order to remedy this situation, Coldiretti drew up a list of foods which needed to be part of a balanced diet based mostly in fruits and vegetables.

Aside from fruits and vegetables, Coldiretti also suggested that diets include legumes like peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils. This because they are ''rich in iron and fiber which help digestion and offer an important source of carbohydrates which give the body the energy it needs to deal with the winter cold.''