Many diets are created around the idea of consuming low-carbohydrate foods. They state that this is the best way to lose weight. That’s why, in time, pasta became kind of an enemy when it comes to weight loss. But a new study says pasta may help with weight loss.
Good news for all us pasta lovers! We don’t have to give up on spaghetti, penne, tagliatelle and all those beautiful pasta types we like so much just because we want to stay in shape.
According to researchers at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, their low glycemic index (GI) is the reason pasta may help with weight loss. The GI is a system used to rate how quickly a food affects blood sugar levels. The sugar in low GI foods such as green vegetables, lentils, and – according to the study – pasta is digested and absorbed slowly in the body. In contrast, high GI foods such as white rice, white bread, and potatoes are absorbed quickly, leading to gaining weight.
How eating pasta may help with weight loss
Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto, examined the results from 30 different studies of almost 2,500 people who eat pasta as part of a low glycemic index diet. On average, each participant ate a half-cup of pasta three times a week.
After analyzing participants' body weight, BMI, body fat, and waist measurements, the findings are surprising. Not only the participants did not gain weight, they actually lost about one pound (about 1/2 kilo) after 12 weeks.
How is that possible? It may be the fact that lower GI foods satiate hunger better, and therefore prevented people from consuming more food, according to the study authors.
If you eat low GI foods – including pasta – you’ll feel full for longer, thereby you’ll eat less and, potentially, shed pounds.
Still, you should be careful when eating pasta, because most of the recipes have fatty sauces, especially the ones with cheese and meat. If you want to stay fit or lose weight, choose pasta salads. Of course, you should stick to portion sizes around half a cup. Also, consider white-flour pasta alternatives like whole-wheat pasta or buckwheat noodles.
Here's one of our favorite pasta salads: