Scientists recognize health benefits of pasta

by Eric Schroeder
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Plate of penne pasta with marinara sauce
An international committee of scientists and food authorities has issued a scientific consensus statement recognizing the health benefits of pasta.

MILAN, ITALY — An international committee of scientists and food authorities has issued a scientific consensus statement recognizing the health benefits of pasta. The committee gathered Oct. 25-27 in Milan as part of the V World Pasta Congress, which was organized by Oldways, the International Pasta Organization and AIDEPI.

The conference featured scientists from nine countries exchanging information about their latest research on carbohydrates, nutrition, health and pasta. The research was summarized in a consensus statement in a form that may be used by doctors, health professionals, dietitians, scientists, media, the food industry and consumers.

Among the key conclusions of the committee were:

  • Scientific research increasingly supports the importance of total diet, rather than individual foods.
  • Many clinical trials confirm that excess calories, and not carbohydrates, are responsible for obesity.
  • Pasta is satiating and keeps you fuller longer.
  • Pasta is an affordable, healthy choice available in almost all societies.
  • Healthy pasta meals are a delicious way to eat more vegetables, legumes and other healthy foods often under-consumed.
  • The general population can eat pasta and should not choose a gluten-free product if not affected by a gluten-related disorder correctly diagnosed.
  • Pasta is a simple plant-based food and has a low environmental impact.
Sara Baer-Sinnott
Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways

“One of the important findings is that the actual process of making pasta creates a lower glycemic food that is slowly digested and helps control blood sugar and weight, differentiating it from other carbohydrates,” said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president, Oldways. “Today, consumers are confronted with not just nutritional choices when it comes to food, but those that impact the environment and culture.”

The statement issued in Milan is an expansion and update to an earlier statement developed with scientists and released at an Oldways conference in Rome in 2004 and updated in 2010.

To view the key findings and conclusions click here.
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