London, July 5 (IANS) If you cannot resist pasta, go order another red-sauced one as contrary to popular belief, eating pasta does not add fat but actually help shed extra kilos.
According to researchers, eating pasta -- the fundamental component of Italian Mediterranean tradition -- can lead to a decrease in the body mass index (BMI) as well as decrease the likelihood of both general and abdominal obesity.
"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," said lead author George Pounis from IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Italy.
Mediterranean diets have always been known as one of the healthiest nutritional regimes.
Hhowever, in recent years, pasta gained a bad reputation and was shunned from diets on the grounds that it leads to obesity.
"Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation and respecting the variety of all its elements (pasta in the first place), is good to your health," added Licia Iacoviello from Neuromed Institute.
Pasta consumption is associated with better weight management in part because it often occurs as part of a healthy Mediterranean diet, said the paper published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes.
For the study, the team examined over 23,000 people recruited in two large epidemiological studies.
"By analysing 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," explained Pounis.