01/15/2012 11:18 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Health Perks of 8 Italian Foods

By Michelle Edelbaum, Eatingwell Digital Editor

There are certain foods I can't get enough of and, incidentally, most of them fall within the Italian diet. Luckily for my health, Italian cuisine follows the Mediterranean pattern of eating -- it focuses on simple, natural ingredients such as tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, dark leafy greens and whole grains, making it one of the world's healthiest diets. Research suggests that the benefits of a Mediterranean-style eating pattern may include improved weight loss, better control of blood-glucose (sugar) levels and reduced risk of depression. Check out these eight essential ingredients of Italian cuisine, compiled by EatingWell's editors, that you should add to your diet.

Italian Foods You Should Be Eating

What's your favorite Italian food?

By Michelle Edelbaum

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Michelle is the digital editor for EatingWell Media Group. She puts her background in journalism to work online at and in each issue of EatingWell Magazine, authoring The Fresh Interview with interesting people in the world of food and health.

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