A good plate of spaghetti is the joy of many. And this joy can be savored fully and without remorse, aware that pasta not only does not make you fat but also that it could even help you reduce your waistline! What has been said emerges from a very interesting research published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes by an Italian team of the Mediterranean Neurological Institute Neuromed, Pozzilli (Pounis et al, Nutr Diabetes, 2016).
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating model that has been studied since the 1950s. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet has demonstrated incredible health benefits. In particular, following the Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and hypertension, counteracts neurodegeneration and cellular degeneration and helps to live healthier and longer. The Mediterranean diet is based on a high consumption of fruit, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, legumes and cereals, generally taken in the form of pasta. However, especially in recent years, the belief is gaining ground that pasta as a food should be limited in order to combat obesity. This is why, despite efforts to promote the Mediterranean diet, the consumption of pasta is at the center of debates and many people are reducing their consumption in favor of a more protein based diet. And yet the Mediterranean diet with its high consumption of pasta has really shown to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity… so where is the truth? What is the role of pasta in determining body weight?
Eating pasta doesn't make you fat, the study
Italian scientists have conducted in-depth research work by recruiting 23,366 people over 18 years of age. Volunteers were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their eating habits. In addition, all study participants underwent medical examinations to evaluate body mass index and waist circumference. Well, what has emerged is that the consumption of pasta does not favor obesity. In fact, the contrary is true. Those who are used to consuming pasta have a lower risk of developing generalized obesity and central obesity. Central obesity is characterized by the distribution of body fat predominantly in the abdomen, the classic visceral fat. In fact, those who are accustomed to eating pasta have a reduction in their body mass index and waist circumference.
Eating pasta therefore doesn't hurt and if some people think of reducing it, taking away one of life's pleasures in order to maintain a healthy body weight, we have seen that they are wrong. Of course, pasta should be included in a varied and balanced diet, without excesses. Even better if it is wholemeal pasta seasoned with tomato sauce, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, basil and Parmesan, which are excellent companions for our spaghetti, condiments but also precious ingredients rich in anti-inflammatory and anticancer substances, as pointed out by same authors of the study we talked about today. But after having made these considerations, all that remains is to say, green light to pasta, an excellent source of slow-release carbohydrates, capable of ensuring us energy for a long time.