A new study has come to what is surely the most important conclusion of the year thus far: according to Italian scientists, pasta is not fattening. In fact, pasta consumption can help reduce levels of obesity.
Perhaps Regina George was truly on to something when she adapted that all-carb diet.
The study, published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, examined the diets of over 23,000 adults, and found that those who reported a regular pasta intake were found to have a “lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio,” according to the Independent.
While pasta’s association with a lower body mass was partly due to its prevalence in the standard, healthy Mediterranean diet (which is rich in olive oil, vegetables, fish, whole grains and fruit), the researchers at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at IRCCS in Pozzilli, Italy also found that the beneficial effects of pasta consumption existed regardless of how strictly the Mediterranean diet was observed.
Licia Iacoviello, head of the laboratory of molecular and nutritional epidemiology at the institute, said, as reported by the Independent:
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 conducted in the context of the Moli-sani Project and INHES, is that Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation and respecting the variety of all its elements (pasta in the first place), is good to your health.
Of course, after ridding yourself of all those nasty ingrained carb-related biases, the next step (unfortunately) isn’t to cultivate a habit of gorging yourself on massive piles of pasta — not if you want to stay healthy, anyway. As always, the main takeaway of the study is that moderation is key.
“What is interesting ...,” said Dr. Gunter Kuhnle, from the University of Reading, “is that these results clearly show that it is wrong to demonize carbohydrates, as the data clearly show that consumption of a carbohydrate-rich food such as pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight.
"The results of this study confirm current dietary recommendations and support the recommendation for a balanced diet."