LOS ANGELES, CA - Carboholics rejoice! Italian researchers say people who eat noodles as a part of their regular diet were less likely to be obese! Take that Paleo diet!
Their analysis of more than 23,000 people found that eating some pasta is associated with a lower body mass index. You heard us right. Those who enjoyed their noodles were less likely to be obese.
The researchers wrote, "Our results are in agreement with a relatively recent study examining food and nutrient intakes in association with BMI in 1,794 United States middle aged adults, showing that pasta intake among other food groups is negatively associated with BMI."
Although most Americans commonly believe that pasta is just "empty calorie" carbs, which provide little nutritional benefits, the Italians use it as a basis of their food pyramid. In fact, a cup of regular pasta provides 6.7 grams of protein and small amounts of calcium and potassium, while the same amount of enriched whole wheat pasta also provides iron, B vitamins, and up to 25% of your daily fiber and folic acid requirements.
Research has shown that Italians have it right when it comes to a well balanced diet. The Mediterranean diet, which includes generous portions of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, unrefined grains, olive oil and fish, is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke and slower brain aging.
So feel free to enjoy a little pasta salad this summer, just make sure to wait thirty minutes before you hop back in the pool!