For years we have been told to steer clear of this favourite Italian food; especially if weight loss is a goal. But a recent study shows that eating pasta may be good for you.

According to the latest research, pasta contributes to weight loss when incorporated into a balanced diet. Unlike most refined carbohydrates, which are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream), pasta has a relatively low glycemic index. This means it leads to smaller increases in blood sugar levels compared to higher glycemic starches such as bread.

The study, which was conduct at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, ON, identified 30 randomized control trials involving nearly 2,500 people who ate pasta instead of other carbohydrates as part of a healthy low-glycemic index diet. Their results were published in the journal BMJ Open.

“The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat,” said lead author Dr. John Sievenpiper, a clinician scientist with the hospital’s Clinical Nutrition and Risk Modification Centre. “In fact analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as a low GI diet.”

Participants involved in the clinical trials ate an average of 3.3 servings of pasta a week instead of other carbohydrates (one serving equals approximately 1/2 cup of cooked pasta). As a result, they lost 0.5 kilogram over a median follow-up of 12 weeks.

“In weighing the evidence, we can now say with some confidence that pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight outcomes when it is consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern,” said Dr. Sievenpiper.

Do you want to learn how to incorporate your favourite foods into your diet plan? Be sure to check out our nutrition/fitness programs created by our editor, Laura Jackson. Visit www.laurajacksonfitness.com for more info. 

 

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