Pasta May Not Be As Fattening As Many Believe
Pasta has gained a reputation for being fattening, and bad for people who are looking to lose weight or maintain their current weight. However, a recent study suggests that pasta is actually not fattening and may in fact reduce the likelihood of general and abdominal obesity for people who follow the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by high amounts of vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish, fruits and nuts, healthy mono-saturated fats like olive oil, low amounts of saturated fats, moderate alcohol intake, and low intake of meat and dairy products.
For this study, the researchers examined two epidemiological studies, Molni-sani and the Italian Nutrition & Health Survey, that included over 23,000 people. The researchers used the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-food frequency questionnaire and a 24-hour dietary recall for dietary assessment. Weight, height, waist and hip circumference were measured in Moli-sani or self-reported in INHES.
The researchers found that, when consumed as a traditional component of the Meditteranean diet, pasta consumption was negatively associated with BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio. It was also associated with a lower prevalence of being overweight or obese.
Researchers from IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on July 4, 2016, in Nutrition & Diabetes.
Previous research has shown that the Mediterranean diet and other similar diets may improve heart health, lower the risk of diabetes, asthma, lower rates of obesity and possibly even decrease the overall risk of mortality.