Perfectly possible: being slim and eating pasta
If you like to eat lasagne or spaghetti, but also strive for a body with as little fat as possible, then according to many food bloggers and health gurus you have a problem. "All those carbohydrates in pasta you will make you fat ofcourse." According to nutritional scientists at the University of Toronto, this is not the case. Yes, pasta is full of carbohydrates, the Canadians write in BMJ Open, but those carbohydrates have a low glycemic index.
The researchers collected 32 trials, in which test subjects ate pasta 3 times a week for an average of 12 weeks. Pasta has a low glycemic index, and the trials were designed to compare the effects of a diet with a low glycemic index with that of a diet with a high glycemic index.
More information about the trials can be found in the table below. Click on the figure for a larger version.
The researchers compiled the results of the trials and analyzed them again.
According to the meta-analysis a diet with pasta did not lead to a weight gain or a growth of the fat mass. Although the data on points are not consistent [pasta caused a decrease in body weight, BMI and waist circumference, but had no effect on fat percentage] it could even be that pasta promotes weight loss a bit.
The figure below has been simplified. Click for an integral version.
"The study found that pasta didn't contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat," says research leader John Sievenpiper in a press release. [sciencedaily.com April 3, 2018] "In fact analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as a low glycemic index diet."
"In weighing the evidence, we can now say with some confidence that pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight outcomes when it is consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern", Sievenpiper says.
BMJ Open. 2018 Apr 2;8(3):e019438.
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