Weight loss tips: Pasta does not actually fatten you!

Mmmm pappardelle pasta with a wild boar Bolognese sauce

A recent study has proven that not only is pasta not fattening, but pasta can help dieters lose weight. And some people completely ban it from their meals.

Lead author of the paper, George Pounis said: 'By analyzing anthropometric data of the participants and their eating habits we have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite.

In the study, the researchers examined pasta consumption in comparison to body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio. Pasta, vegetables, and fruits - these perhaps are the most important foods that you can place on your plate to achieve your desired weight and have a balanced set of nutrition in your body.

Although pasta is a staple in the Mediterranean region, very little is known about its health benefits.

"Our nutritional advice", Iacoviello said, "is to maintain adherence to the Mediterranean diet, consuming food types proportionally to the pyramid", which has cereals at the bottom and red meat on top. They found that people who ate decent amounts of pasta (but not too much) had a lower BMI.

The study looked at the interaction between pasta consumption, BMI and waist-to-hip ratios.

Particularly since protein-heavy diets have become popular, pasta has become, in popular conception, something of a forbidden food.

In epidemiology, you could claim anything is possible in studies of 1,000 people but with 23,000 it's more rigorous and can't be dismissed on population sample. "In the last decades in Italy, despite the strong effort to promote the Mediterranean diet, a progressive change occurred in eating habits". That means it could be the Mediterranean diet as a whole, not just pasta consumption, which is trimming waistlines.

The findings appear in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes.

In addition to the group from the Molise region, the study also drew from data collected from nearly 9,000 participants in the Italian Nutrition & Health Survey from all across Italy.

If you are a pasta lover, this is a good news for you.

The head of the molecular and nutritional epidemiology at the Neuromed Institute, Licia Lacoviello, said that the trend of avoiding pasta from diets to lose weight was unjustified.

He adds: "It is however important to understand that "pasta intake" can not be seen in isolation but that it is part of a dietary pattern".

Dr Gunter Kuhnle, of the University of Reading, said the study showed it was "wrong to demonise carbohydrates".

However, they were able to find out that pasta intake could indicate what kind of diet a person is following.