Seeing as it's delicious, filling, and often topped with cheese, pasta already gives you plenty of good reasons to eat it. But it looks like Italian researchers have discovered yet another reason to slurp up the saucy stuff, and it could very well be the best reason: pasta won't make you fat.
Contrary to what all those low-carb diets have told you over the years, a new study published this week in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes found that moderate pasta consumption is linked to a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and even a smaller waistline. Further, the study claims that regularly eating pasta -- a staple of the Mediterranean diet -- could actually reduce your likelihood of becoming obese, according to a press release.
"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," said George Pounis, lead author of the study, in the release. "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."
The research is based on the diets of 23,000 Italian adults, and could ultimately bolster what the study describes as the "fundamental" role pasta plays in Italian and Mediterranean diets, which are often rich with foods like fish, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and olive oil, according to a report by the Independent. Of course, the study's authors emphasize that the key with pasta, like everything else you eat, is eating it in moderation. But don't be fusilli (sorry), they're probably not referring to heaping plates of spaghetti doused in sauce and loaded with giant meatballs.
Here's the bottom line, folks: if you enjoy regularly eating pasta, there's a good chance you can feel significantly less guilty about it when it comes to your health.