Please don’t confuse American italian cuisine with real italian cuisine. And, please don’t confuse restaurant fare in Italy (catering to tourists looking for a cheap meal) with what Italians eat in their home.
Lots of meat/fish/seafood/cheese/eggs is consumed by Italians. And depending on the region of Italy, there can be lots of greens, too. Like rapini, broccoli, black Tuscan kale, Swiss chard, spinach, artichoke, cabbage, escarole, endive, chicory, asparagus, etc. Northern parts usually less veg. And the northerners are known for heavy use of butter, cream and lard. They are also taught as a youngster to eat traditional foods, and snout to tail. Buying stewed intestines from a food cart out in the streets of Florence, for example, is common.
For pasta: There is a saying of “tre forchettate” or three forkfuls in English. As in, you get three forkfuls of spaghetti, and that’s it. The mountain of spaghetti, as you see in America, would serve an army in Italy.
Olive oil is remarkably good and of great quality. Cured meats the same. Unlike in America where they place “grass fed” and “pasture raised” on premium products, in Italy you see high quality foods, with stringent certification, like PDO, where complete supply chain quality is certified and name of product is protected (just like you cannot call any sparkling wine by the protected name Champagne).
The practice of continuously snacking throughout the day is unheard of. Drink big gulp cups of soft drinks is seen as vulgar and not appetizing. Mineral water is consumed more than soft drinks. And the mineral water has lots of magnesium, potassium, etc…electrolytes.
There is no dessert. Closest thing to dessert is serving cheese, nuts (usually in their shell) or seasonal fruit. But, this is not done every day. Actual sweet desserts, like tiramisu, is a rare treat served for special occasions. The gelato shops you see in Italy cater to tourists…not really Italians. They know that stuff is full of sugar.
I don’t know a single italian that eats breakfast. They take an espresso, and they are out the door. Will not eat until lunch time.
So, please. Do not confuse Italians with stereotypes created in America, or the food commerce that caters to the tourists (who don’t know what real authentic italian food really is, and who would be grossed out if they were served real italian food). For example, when I was growing up, we ate rabbit about 2 or 3 times per month. How many tourists would like to eat rabbit? Probably 1 in 1000.