Over the years, eating pasta has been believed to be fattening. However, a new study now available in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes claims that eating pasta is associated with lower chances of developing general and abdominal obesity.

This study by the Department of Epidemiology, I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy includes data from the Moli-sani project and the Italian Nutrition & Health Survey (INHES) on the anthropometric measurements and eating habits of more than 23,000 people. Overall, the findings point out that the bad reputation of this food item is largely unsubstantiated.

“Contrary to what many think, it is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite,” says study author George Pounis. “Our data show that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio.”

eating pasta

Eating pasta helps lower your BMI. Credit: joshuemd/Pixabay

Due to its reputation, many people have avoided eating pasta, laments Pounis. The researcher argues that people should be reminded that it is an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, which is considered as one of the healthiest diets.

Until now, little was known about the role pasta plays in the Mediterranean diet. A study published in 2015 in the European Heart Journal showed that the Mediterranean diet is linked to lower chances of developing heart attack and stroke in people who already have heart disease.

This study of lead researcher Ralph Stewart from Auckland City Hospital, University of Auckland, New Zealand says that the Mediterranean diet provides seven percent reduction in the risk of stroke, heart attack or death from cardiovascular illnesses or other causes in individuals with heart disease.

According to Licia Iacoviello, head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology at Neuromed Institute, the findings demonstrate that those who avoid or completely ban pasta from their diet should start consuming pasta to help them lose weight. Iacoviello adds that those who follow the Mediterranean diet without including pasta should also start consuming it.

In spite of the good news about eating pasta, consumers are still advised to not overeat the food. Everything should be consumed in moderation.