Does eating pasta make you fat? These Italian scientists say “no.”
A new study out of Italy has found that eating pasta is not fattening. Indeed, as it turns out – quite the opposite is true.
The results of the study were published this Monday by NeuroMed, the official journal of the Mediterranean Neurological Institute. [You can go here to read the full study in English.]
The study, conducted by Neuromed’s Department of Epidemiology, I.R.C.C.S. in Pozzilli, Italy, was “based on over 23,000 Italian citizens recruited in two large epidemiological studies does justice to one of the fundamental elements of the Mediterranean diet, showing how pasta consumption is actually associated with a reduced likelihood of both general and abdominal obesity,” according to a report by Science Daily.
George Pounis, the first author of the paper, explains that:
By analyzing [the measurements and proportions of the human anatomy] 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 show that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio.
As EurekAlert reports, “Many studies already demonstrated how Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest nutritional regimes, even when we talk about weight control. Very little, however, was known about the specific role of a basic component as pasta. Data from the Neuromed study now fill this gap.”
Licia Iacoviello, the head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology at the Neuromed Institute, expands on the findings – reporting that:
In popular views pasta is often considered not adequate when you want to lose weight. And some people completely ban it from their meals. In light of this research, we can say that this is not a correct attitude. We’re talking about a fundamental component of Italian Mediterranean tradition, and there is no reason to do without it. The message emerging from this study, as from other scientific analyses […] is that [the] Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation and respecting the variety of all its elements (pasta in particular), is good for your health.
However, this should not be a call to go out and consume mass quantities of pasta.
As Time reports, “Before seeing this as a green-light to load on the popular carbohydrate (that is often shunned in certain diets due to its gluten content), it is important to note that the study does not say eating pasta actually causes a reduction in BMI, just that it’s associated with it.”
Additionally, according to Time: “Italians also eat smaller portions as pasta is typically considered a first course rather than a main.”
And, as the Health Feed Network reports in the video below: “It’s not the pasta that’s fattening, it’s the sauce.” So be careful how you eat pasta if you want to avoid putting on unwanted pounds.
You can watch a short clip on the study, courtesy of the Health Feed Network:
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