It is believed that eating any carbohydrate is fattening, and pasta is not the exception. However, according to an Italian study, pasta does not make people win weight. It makes the opposite if it is consumed as part of a Mediterranean diet.
The project began in 2005 and initially intended to identify genetic factors underlying cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions, the Telegraph reports. The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, and it shows that pasta consumption is associated with better weight management if it is consumed as part of a Mediterranean diet.
The research was done by members of the Italian Research Hospital Istituto Di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Neuromed in Italy and according to a survey that involved more than 23 thousand people from 2 parts of Italy.
Participants recorded what they ate in a diary and described their food intake over the phone to an interviewer. The amount of pasta eaten by the participants was standardized and compared to their body mass index (BMI), hip and waist measurements.
The study concluded that pasta has no direct link with weight gain, and they found it can help you do the opposite. The correlation between pasta consumption and lower obesity rates are independent of all diets.
Lead author George Pounis said that their data shows that enjoying pasta according to people’s needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference, and better waist-hip ratio.
The head of the molecular and nutritional epidemiology at the Neuromed Institute, Licia Lacoviello, said that the trend of avoiding pasta from diets to lose weight was unjustified.
Many studies have proven that a Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest nutritional regimes in the world. The diet is rich in olive oil, fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains.
Lacoviello added that the message of this study is that Mediterranean diet, eaten in moderation and respecting the variety of all its ingredients, is safe to your health.
The research shows that people who ate pasta regularly were the ones that ate a Mediterranean diet. They included in their meals garlic, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, seasoned cheese and rice.
According to the Telegraph, Dr. Gunter Kuhnle, Associated Professor in Nutrition and Health at the University of Reading, said that it is important to understand that pasta intake cannot be seen in isolation, but as part of a dietary pattern. He added that it was interesting, however, the study showed that is wrong to believe carbohydrates are a cause of weight gaining, and proves that consumption of carbohydrate-rich food such as pasta does not hurt body weight.