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IN SHAPE AT BRUNCH-TIME

Brunches, which started in America, have now become fashionable in Italy as well.

Brunches, which started in America, have now become fashionable in Italy as well. A brunch is a large breakfast with buffet service that replaces lunch. What it comes down to is a special way of eating – with no rules or patterns – with savoury and sweet foods combined.

The main problem with brunches for people on a diet is precisely the lack of rules. If you are not careful about what and how much you eat, you could put on weight.

A classic brunch includes breakfast foods such as eggs, ham, toasted bread, fruit and cakes. There is also food traditionally served at mealtimes, such as beef, chicken, shrimps and smoked salmon, soups, salads and vegetables, bread and desserts.

Vegetables and fruit should not be missing. Raw vegetables in oil dip and fruit are a source of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Choose lean protein, such as white meat (chicken, turkey, including ready-made sliced roasts), lean beef and fish (drained tuna, shrimps and smoked salmon), which provide proteins of high biological value and not many fats.

Avoid cured and packaged meats such as salami, mortadella or bacon – go for cooked or uncooked ham and bresaola. Choose a low-fat dessert such as apple strudel, fruit ice-cream, fruit salad with ice cream.