There was a time when pasta was frowned upon as a ‘carb’ and religiously avoided by dieters and weight watchers. Now a recent study has found that we may have got it all wrong; moderate pasta consumption may actually help you lose weight.
The study, which was published in the Nutrition and Diabetes journal surveyed 23,000 Italians, who regularly eat pasta. In the survey, they asked participants to keep a food journal and relay the contents of this journey to an interviewer. The amount of pasta they ate was standardized and compared to their BMI, waist and hip measurements. A subsequent analysis found that contrary to the belief that it contributes to weight gain, participants who regularly ate pasta had healthier weight statistics.
The lead author of the study, George Pounis said: “By analyzing anthropometric data of the participants and their eating habits we have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite.
“Our data shows that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio.”
However, other nutritionists state that these findings have more to do with the participants assumedly following a Mediterranean diet. They state that pasta is a component of a Mediterranean diet and regular intake of pasta signifies that the participant is – whether unconsciously or consciously – following a Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet, as you may have guessed from its name, is a diet pattern popular in Mediterranean countries. It includes a large consumption of vegetables, moderate amount of proteins as well as a good use of olive oil. The Mediterranean diet has been popular among healthy eaters as research suggests it reduces the risk of heart disease.
Therefore, pasta paired with, or as a part of the Mediterranean diet will very likely help you along your healthy eating resolution as well as your efforts to lose weight. However, this does not give you permission to douse your past with butter, cheese and cream. Just saying.