Does pasta cause weight gain?

written by Meena Azzollini

pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil

Credit:123RF

Who doesn’t love a delicious pasta dish?

But pasta is often put into the same basket as other weight gaining carbohydrates making it confusing for us to include pasta in our diets.

Carbohydrates are considered to be one of the main contributors to obesity. This includes refined carbohydrates which are quickly absorbed in the blood also known as high GI foods.

Low GI foods such as soy products, beans, fruit, milk, grainy bread, porridge and lentils have been promoted to lose weight by controlling blood sugar levels and appetite.

After assessing the data, the researchers found that pasta did not contribute to weight gain or increase in any body fat.

Pasta is also a low GI food, but it is unclear whether it contributes to weight gain or weight loss like the other low GI foods.

Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of other randomised controlled trials.

The researchers identified 30 randomised control trials which included almost 2500 people who ate pasta instead of other low GI carbohydrates as part of their healthy diet. They ate 3.3 servings of pasta a week.

One serving equals about one and a half cups of cooked pasta.

These trials found that they lost about one and a half kilogram over a median follow up of 12 weeks.

After assessing the data, the researchers found that pasta did not contribute to weight gain or increase in any body fat.

In fact the data showed that pasta reduced body weight and BMI compared to higher GI diets.

While further trials are needed to understand if the lack of weight gain contributed to pasta also extends to other healthy diets, researchers conclude that pasta can be part of a healthy low GI diet.

So cook up some healthy pasta dishes and indulge in your love for pasta. But moderation is the key of course.

Source: BMJ Open


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Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!