Book Review: 'The Italian Diet' by Gino D'Acampo - Healthy Italian Food for a Lifetime

by KathleenDuffy

Italian food is healthy, fresh, appetising and satisfying. It's also, as 'The Italian Diet' by Gino D'Acampo illustrates, the ideal diet for painless weight loss.

For anyone who thinks it is impossible to lose weight without giving up tasty, filling foods, this book will be a godsend. Many weight-loss programmes make the same claim, yet 'The Italian Diet' by Gino D’Acampo makes weight loss healthy, satisfying and, unusually for a diet book – interesting!

The Italian Diet is based on the traditional Italian way of eating and, thankfully, no food groups are banned or limited. Everything is fresh and healthy and includes fish, lean meats, pulses, fruit and vegetables and olive oil.

The dishes are easy to prepare and ingredients are readily available. With his motto, "minimum effort, maximum satisfaction," Gino D’Acampo has ensured that whether cooking for one or the whole family, the recipes he presents will be easy and totally delicious.

'The Italian Diet' - Eating the Mediterranean Way!

A Habit for a Lifetime

Gino D’Acampo's first book, Fantastico! won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Italian Cookbook.  For The Italian Diet he  has teamed up with nutritionist, Juliette Kellow ( nutritionist for Pizza Express and advisor to many celebrities on diet and weight loss).

Kellow's introduction to The Italian Diet gives a complete over-view of the advantages of following The Italian Diet, and includes statistical evidence to show that not only do Italians have the lowest rate of obesity in Europe, but that a massive 61 percent of British adults are overweight or obese.

Italian Delicatessan


On the back cover of the book is the finding of the New England Journal of Medicine: "...a Mediterranean diet resulted in a greater weight loss than a low-fat diet, even though both provided the same amount of calories".


There was never a better time to radically overhaul eating habits.

The Italian Diet Plan

The Italian Diet has a table showing a week’s recipes given for women, allowing 1,500 calories daily, and a week’s recipes for men allowing 2,000 calories. The daily calorific breakdown for women is:

  • Breakfast: 250 calories
  • Lunch: 450 calories
  • Dinner: 600 Calories
  • Alcohol: 100 calories
  • Milk: 100 calories
  • Total: 1,500 calories

Olive Mosaic


Here is an example of one day’s menus:

  • Breakfast – Baked eggs with ham in tomato and garlic sauce, with 1 slice of wholegrain toast with 1 tsp olive oil spread followed by 1  pear.
  • Lunch – Italian style burgers with salad followed by an orange.
  • Dinner – Bresaola and creamed celery bruschetta followed by  salmon fillets in tomato, garlic and thyme sauce with five boiled new   potatoes in their skins and steamed vegetables.

Glass of Red Wine


In addition, salad with or before every meal is recommended, a small glass of wine is allowed, plus extra milk for coffees and teas.

After following the plan for a suggested two weeks, the dieter can then start experimenting with the one hundred recipes given in the book.

Gino D'Acampo Makes Bruschetta Classica

'The Italian Diet' – Book Presentation

The Italian Diet is full of wonderful colour plates of the food and each recipe is very clearly laid out. The calorific, fat content, saturates, sugars and salt content is given, making it easy to organise a day’s recipes.

Sophia Loren

The book is also illustrated with black and white stills from Italian-based movies of the 1960s featuring great stars like Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastrioni. It all adds to the genuine Italian ambiance of the book.

At the back of the book there are plenty of 'naughty' recipes including cakes, sweets and desserts.

My only concern would be that here in the UK the diet might prove a little expensive. If you live near a fresh food market then you will be on the right track for the ingredients that you need which will be cheaper than the supermarket versions. 


An Italian deli would be handy of course as you can buy the cheese in the amounts you require. Bear in mind that  once your storecupboard is stocked with the basics,  then things will even out.

However, some would say that you can't put a price on your health - if you have a garden, patio  or allotment then this is a great excuse to grow your own tomatoes, salad vegetables and herbs.

 Even if you don't need to lose weight, this is a really interesting and useful book to have on your kitchen shelf.   It's really a diet for health.



The Italian Diet by Gino D’Acampo (Kyle Cathie Limited)

Updated: 06/30/2013, KathleenDuffy
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
KathleenDuffy on 07/06/2013

Hello Mira - I so agree with you - the Italian food in Italy is so amazing as it changes from region to region. I spent some time there in the 1960s and the ministrone changed according to which area we were in.

Mira on 07/06/2013

I love Italian food. Haven't been to Italy in ages though. We have a good number of Italian restaurants over here but I feel they're no match to the 2-3 Italian restaurants I remember from Italy. :)

You might also like

Book Review: Vegan Cooking for One by Leah Leneman - Recipes f...

Leah Leneman's book, 'Vegan Cooking for One' provides vegan recipes for each ...

Book Review - 'Quick and Easy: One Pot of Jam from Your Microw...

Forget huge batches of produce bubbling on the stove. Sonia Allison's book de...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...