‘Think pasta is fattening? Think again. A new study reported this month in the journal Nutrition and Diabetics indicated that moderate levels of pasta consumption contributes positively to a good BMI (Body Mass Index) and with “better adhesion to the Mediterranean diet.”
Put another way, pasta consumption balances well with “a diet of a type traditional in Mediterranean countries, characterized especially by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein, and thought to confer health benefits; Researchers [have] found that people who eat a Mediterranean diet have lower odds of having a heart attack,” a Wikipedia article says.
George Pounis, the first author of the Italian study – the one cited above – sums up the results this way: “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.”
Previous research has touted the heart-healthy benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, which is a way of eating rather than a specific meal plan. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, peas and olive oil plus fish and poultry.
However, little was known about how pasta — also a staple in the Mediterranean region — affected health, the researchers behind the new study said. This finding fills that gap, they believe.
“We have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite,” Pounis added in a journal news release.
Many people have shunned spaghetti, noodles and other types of pasta in recent years because of concerns they were fattening. The new study could potentially cause Americans and others to revise their views.
The Italian study covered thousands of people surveyed in several ways over several years.