The Black Cats boss has seen some of his methods raise eyebrows, with players having been banned from consuming certain foods.
Di Canio is, however, of the opinion that he is helping to keep things professional - and that becomes all the more important the higher up the managerial ladder you go.
He has stuck by his sometimes controversial approach to coaching throughout a spell at Swindon Town - which included a League Two title - and into a post at Sunderland - where the pressure to deliver has risen considerably.
The Italian tactician said in the Sunday People: "A lot of people said that I couldn't work the same here as I did at Swindon because in the Premier League there are big egos. But I don't see why.
"When I said I will be strict, I mean when I see something that goes wrong or someone does not behave the way we have to do to. They earn more money, so they have to behave better.
"But they also help me, because there is a different level of professionalism."
Di Canio added: "I can also be flexible. The media have taken what I said about ice and coffee and mayonnaise and ketchup and made a lot of it.
"But it's normal in football in Italy, Spain and Portugal, not just at the top level but also at the second and third levels."