What! Pasta Not Fattening?

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The Mediterranean diet has been popular even though pasta is often rejected because it is believed that it contributes to weight gain. The new research out might make you happy. This diet is a heart healthy diet based on the cuisine of the region and actually shown to lower the risk of heart disease. It also lowers that “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

A meta-analysis involving more than 1.5 million people found that following the diet reduced the risk of cardiovascular mortality and maybe, the overall mortality. The benefits of the Mediterranean diet do not stop at the heart, as other research has matched it with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.Evidence has also shown that when supplemented with mixed nuts and extra olive oil, this diet might stave off breast cancer.

Healthy Aspects Of A Mediterranean Diet

Some of the aspects of the Mediterranean diet are, 1) eating predominantly plant-based foods, 2) replacing butter with olive or coconut oil, 3) flavor food with herbs rather than salt, 4) only eat red meat a few times a month, 5) eat poultry or fish twice a week, 6) eat with friends and family, 7) drink red wine in moderation, and 8) exercise regularly.

One ingredient that is generally removed from this diet is pasta, however, if the results of a recent study are confirmed, this may soon be a thing of the past.

Because pasta is loaded with carbohydrate-based calories, it has previously been dismissed as a part of the diet. Just a 1 cup serving of spaghetti has about 220 calories and anyone seriously attempting weight loss will reduce pasta significantly, if not removing it entirely from their meals. Breaking research published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, found the exact opposite to be true. The Department of Epidemiology, I.R.C.C.S Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy carried out a study and took data from two large epidemiological studies to examine the relationship between pasta consumption and certain weight parameters. There were 23,000 individuals used in the study who came from the Moli-sani and INHES (Italian Nutrition & Health Survey) studies.

Data was collected by telephone-based questionnaires by INHES throughout all regions of Italy. They collected information about eating habits, how they are influenced, awareness of dietary health topics and the reasons behind food choices. About 9,319 people gave information. They concluded that consumption of pasta is not associated with an increase in body weight. The data showed that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs, contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio. Therefore, kicking pasta to the curb on the Mediterranean diet no longer needs to be the case.

For all those pasta lovers out there, this is definitely good news. Just remember that if you are on a diet, you should still use moderation, as it is the key to success.

– Dr Fredda Branyon


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