Why Pasta Might Actually Be Good For You
The Debrief: Load us up with lasagne, our dreams have come true
Ladies, put down your freekeh, lentils, and chia seeds, and gather round, because in the best news since Farage’s resignation we can announce that pasta may actually be good for you! That’s right, despite evidence to the contrary after an unfortunate glimpse at the scales on returning from a fortnight in Italy, a study has suggested that eating pasta can contribute to lower BMI and waist circumference.
The study, conducted by the IRCCS institute of Nuromed in Pozzilli, Italy, and featured in the journal of Nutrition and Diabetes (a real page turner...), sought to determine the impact of eating pasta on BMI, waist and hip circumference and waist-to-hip ratio. After studying its effects on over 23, 000 Italians, it was found that pasta intake is ‘negatively associated with obesity’ and prevalence of overweightness. Before you start running open-mouthed through Waitrose guzzling fusilli and linguine like Pacman on pills, it’s worth mentioning that the study was analysing the effects of pasta when eaten as part of the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is rich in high fibre legumes and olive oil, and the benefits of eating pasta are seen when consumed in moderation alongside all elements of the diet. Reported in The Telegraph, Dr Gunter Kuhnle, Associate Professor in Nutrition and Health at the University of Reading notes that pasta intake could be ‘a marker for adherence to this kind of diet’, and so is evidence for the benefits of the diet as a whole.
So does this mean pasta helps us lose weight?
Not if we eat it in vast quantities, straight out the saucepan for breakfast whilst hungover (not that this has ever happened…). The portion sizes of pasta in the study were smaller than we would normally consume, so, evidently, moderation is key. The investigation demonstrates that pasta does not adversely affect body weight, as long as it is eaten in accordance with the Med Diet. So in future, there’s no need to slate pasta while smugly opting for a stick of celery. Chow down on conchiglie and pig out on penne, but make sure there’s a load of fresh fruit and veg and a good glug of olive oil to go with. Buon Appetito!
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