All the Pasta lovers out there, it’s time to celebrate! According to a new meta-analysis, published in the journal BMJ Open recently, it has been confirmed that consuming pasta is not linked to weight gain when it is eaten as part of a low-glycemic-index diet. Foods like pasta have a relatively low-glycemic-index and are known to release sugar slowly into the bloodstream as compared to other foods.
The researchers collected and analyzed data from 2500 people who ate pasta as part of a low-glycemic diet or consumed other carbohydrates that had a higher glycemic index. After a total of 12 weeks and 29 studies, it was found that people in pasta group lost, on average, approximately half a kilogram as compared to those who consumed other carbohydrates. These people ate on an average about 3.3 servings of pasta each week with one serving being equal to about one-half cup of cooked pasta.
The researchers also said that these findings are applicable in the context of a low-glycemic-index diet only. They are not sure whether such results will hold true in the context of other healthy dietary patterns, such as Mediterranean and vegetarian dietary patterns.
A famous dietitian and nutrition consultant from Pittsburgh, Heather Mangieri said that she was not surprised to know the results which pointed out that pasta and other carbohydrates could help to lose weight. She said that a proper portion of pasta, one-half cup to one cup, along with some fresh leafy vegetables and a lean protein is a very healthy option to adopt. Do not combine your pasta with too many rich sauces. If you want to lose wait by eating pasta, keep the glycemic index and calorie count in check. Stay away from foods like creamy sauces and high-fat meatballs with garlic bread to keep it healthy.
The researchers noted that the amount of weight loss by eating pasta was relatively small and it is unclear if people would keep this weight off over the long term.
The findings highlight an important aspect of diet planning. One does not need to stay away from your favorite food to maintain a healthy weight. Rather than depriving yourself and craving for your favorite food, always keep a check on the quantity you are eating and look for healthier options to add to them.
Although the meta-analysis wasn’t funded by the pasta industry, however few authors received support from the famous pasta maker Barilla in the form of research grants, in-kind donations of pasta for studies and travel support.