If You Eat Pasta, You're Less Likely To Be Obese
For years, pasta has had more than just a bit of a bad reputation as part of the world's bizarre war on carbs. In fact, more recently we've even been bullied into thinking our beloved spaghetti strands should be replaced by spiralised courgette, and that lasagne sheets can be swapped for butternut squash-based impostors.
But it turns out that pasta's not all that bad, after all - according to research published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, which has shown not only that eating pasta is not the fattening habit many think it is, but that those who eat it actually tend to be slimmer.
Conducted by the boffins (and now also our heroes) at the Department of Epidemiology at the Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy, the study analysed 23,000 people and their eating habits.
The work built on the widely-held belief that the Mediterranean diet is one of the world's healthiest. However, while a great deal of research has been carried out on Mediterranean food in general, less focus has been given specifically to pasta.
WATCH JON FAVREAU SEDUCE SCARLETT JOHANSSON WITH SOME SEXY PASTA IN CHEF:
One of the paper's authors, George Pounis, said: "By analysing 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.
"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."
Licia Iacoviello, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology at Neuromed Institute, added: "In popular views, pasta is often considered not adequate when you want to lose weight. And some people completely ban it from their meals.
"In light of this research, we can say that this is not a correct attitude. We're talking about a fundamental component of Italian Mediterranean tradition, and there is no reason to do without it.
"The message emerging from this study, as from other scientific analyses conducted in the context of the Moli-sani Project and INHES, is that Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation and respecting the variety of all its elements (pasta in the first place), is good to your health".
Well, on that note, we suggest you go and get that pan of salted water on to boil, because if you've got any sense you'll be having pasta for tea in celebration of the good news. Just go easy on the lashings of heavy, creamy sauces and instead think Mediterranean with lots of tasty veg and fresh herbs - with a drizzle of olive oil or scattering of Parmesan to add a bit of richness without piling on the pounds.
Featured Image Credit: PA