Can eating pasta really make you slimmer?

Can eating pasta really make you slimmer?Worried that your predilection for pasta is making you put on the pounds? A new study from the world’s pasta capital suggests that it might actually help you lose weight. But can this really be possible, or is that suggestion a bit too good to be true?

Researchers from the Neuromed Institute in Pozzilli, Italy stated in a newly-published paper that pasta, contrary to popular belief, does not make people fat, and may even help them reduce the chances of obesity. That’s because it forms a key part of the Mediterranean diet, a low-fat diet that has gained a lot of traction among weight watchers in recent years.

“Results have shown that pasta is associated with a lower body mass index, a lower prevalence of obesity and a lower waist and hip circumference, when it is eaten according to an individual’s caloric needs and in the context of a Mediterranean diet,” said Licia Iacoviello, head of the Neuromed Institute’s Laboratory of the Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology, in an interview with Metro.

The study involved data from about 23,000 people, and showed that those who consumed more pasta while sticking to a Mediterranean diet or something similar had lower body mass indexes, lower waist and hip circumferences, and lower waist-to-hip ratios. But before you start gorging on spaghetti, fetuccini Alfredo, or even our (Philippines) very own Lucky Me Pancit Canton, there’s a bit of a gotcha to that Italian study.

For starters, the operative words in Iacoviello’s statement are “context of a Meditteranean diet.” That means you’ll have to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and go very, VERY easy on the red meat, which means spaghetti and meatballs, for instance, is essentially out of the question. Second, the study only found an association between a lower BMI/waistline/etc. and eating pasta, but not any causality.

So with that in mind, it looks like this writer is going to have to do something more than just shift from rice to pasta, and avoid pasta-and-rice combos (yes, it’s a thing where I live) if he wants to lose those extra pounds.