Fresh Pasta - ©

Pasta Doesn’t Cause Weight Gain!

Yay! I always knew they’d discover this was so. It was just a matter of time… And, now, researchers can say, with scientific certainty, that Pasta consumption neither causes weight gain nor contributes to the deposition of body fat. Which makes it different from other common Carbs…

The Mediterranean Diet - © oregonsportsnews.comThere’s lots of good stuff in the Mediterranean diet – including a fair amount of Pasta!

Researchers looked at 2,500 subjects who ate Pasta at least three times a week instead of other Carbs as part of a low-Glycemic diet.

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 St. Michael’s 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.”

The study authors stressed that these results are generalizable to pasta consumed along with other low-glycemic index foods as part of a low-glycemic diet. They caution more work is needed to determine if the lack of weight gain will extend to pasta as part of other healthy diets.

“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.

But there’s a catch…

We aren’t told all the details about how much Pasta people ate or what the upper and lower limits of their Pasta consumption were.

Dr. Sievenpiper did note that the study defined a serving of Pasta (of which subjects were said to consume three or more a week) as 1/2 cup of cooked Pasta. That’s not much. Most folks I know who eat Pasta regularly eat an average (my estimate, after having joined three different Italian families for dinner regularly over the past couple of decades) is more like 2 cups per sitting. I’d like to know if that’s too much; if it the positive findings of the study would collapse under that kind of consumption.

On the other hand, my Italian friends have never been overweight. Notably not their kids.

I put that down to their overall diet, which is high in Veggies and Fruits, especially Greens, Tomatoes, Squashed, Beans and Lentils, and leverages Olive Oil to the max.

The Mediterranean Diet

This is, of course, the Mediterranean diet, and it has long been championed as one of the healthiest. I and my little family consume a modified Mediterranean diet, but after reading up on the new study, I’m thinking we don’t get enough Pasta and may get too much of other Carbs…

~ Maggie J.