Eat pasta, lose weight, say Barilla-funded scientists (again)

pasta

Eating more high-carb pasta can help you lose weight. That is, if you believe this very peculiar article:

The strangeness starts with the title: “Effect of pasta in the context of low-glycaemic index dietary patterns”. What does this mean? Well, the researchers have looked around for studies testing whether eating pasta has any special effect on people’s weight. Apparently, they found zero such studies.

So instead of actually looking at pasta, they decided to look at studies testing the effect of a low-glycemic diet (including pasta) compared to a higher-glycemic diet. And then the low-glycemic diets did better. But was that because of the pasta, or despite the pasta? We don’t know. In fact, there’s no way to know if the pasta resulted in weight loss or weight gain for people eating it. And yet, the title focuses on pasta – why??

It reminds me of people saying that Coca-Cola can be “part of a healthy, balanced diet”. Perhaps the unhealthy part that balances out the healthy foods…

In strange cases like this, it may be helpful to follow the money. Several of the authors of the pasta study happen to report – in what may be the most extensive list of conflicts of interest ever – having received money from Barilla, the world’s largest pasta maker:

Conflicts of interest

barilla

Earlier

Pasta keeps you slim according to bizarre study by Barilla – fools major media

“Italy loses its taste for pasta”

14 comments

  1. Charlene
    I was in the waiting room of a Dr office when this report (all of 5 seconds) was headlined as "news". It near caused a riot among the mostly senior patients also waiting--3 people talked back the the screen--saying it was ridiculous and that pasta is known to spike insulin levels. It then generated a conversation about the many saintly virtues of zoodles! People started talking how they fix zoodles and as people were called to see the Dr.s, there was a disappointment that the impromptu cooking class was over.

    People are onto the food industry more than we think.

  2. Margaret hurrell
    Please let this be true. Pasta my all time favorite food any kind made any way just boiled with garlic and butter. I want some now. Ahh.. ...
  3. Rick Simon
    To lose weight with pasta is possible with less than approximately 20-22 grams per day, but it's absurd to do a diet like that. Carbs make you hungrier and most people will not likely stick to the diet. The best way to lose weight is eat when you're hungry no tv or distractions and eat slowly, drink lots of water during the day and try to get 30-60 minutes of some kind of exercise everyday. It works wonders..it has worked for me and countless others, now and through the ages.
  4. Andre
    It looks that we are not looking correctly these studies.

    It does not tell that you can eat pasta as much as you want but simply that:

    if you eat 1/2 cup of cooked pasta 3 times a week within a Low GI diet you should not pick up weight.

    As long as the total carbs remains reasonable (less than 80 gr/day) you will not get fat.

    1/2 cup of pasta is approximately 20 gr. On that day you still have 60 gr. to use.

    They are talking about introducing pasta in small quantities as a side dish. This is how they eat pasta in Italy.

    This is completely different than what we are use in North America. Large portion (4 cups) of pasta served with a meatball sauce (That contains sugar) eaten with few slices of garlic white bread.

    If you are on a Liberal Low carb diet. Pasta in moderation can be part of your diet.

    PS. I don't eat pasta as I am on a Keto diet.

  5. Mira
    Eat one-half cup of pasta with a meal no more than three times a week and stay slim? Good luck with that. NOBODY in the USA eats 1/2 cup with a meal. Main pasta courses are anywhere from 1-1/2 to 3 cups usually. Until I eliminated pasta from my diet, I was eating more than 1/2 cup as a side, which was one of the things that brought me to the LCHF world to begin with.

    Besides the fact that pasta contains dairy, one of my food sensitivities, wheat was the biggest cause of my weight gain. I may have family members who can eat pasta late at night with no weight gain, but that's not me. As much as I'd like to have a plate of homemade Cavatelli or Orzo with butter, fresh basil and grated Parmigiano Reggiano, being healthy is more important. I've found ways to use shaved cauliflower and zucchini zoodles and lasagna as the bases for my pasta recipes. Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!

  6. Wolfgang
    Why eat Pasta at all ? It doesn't even taste good ! Or does anyone eat plain pasta ? Just eat the mushrooms, butter, olive oil, bacon or sugo you would put on and stay keto forever after.
    Same goes for pizza. Just plain awful !
  7. Erin
    @Andre... I lived in Italy and was constantly presented with GIANT portions of pasta (think slabs of homemade lasagna or huge bowls of spaghetti) as just one course in a 4 or 5 course meal (yep bread was one of them) both by my didn't-speak-English neighbors and landlords and also at restaurants. Not sure where you've been in Italy but from the tiny towns to the tourist-y cities, pasta was everywhere and BIG. Pasta abounds as do eating disorders (clinics everywhere) and depression in this very fashion-conscious country. I assume a connection.
    Reply: #11
  8. Andrea
    Yes Wolfgang I absolutely LOVE plain old pasta - even raw believe it or not (I know, weird!!). I don't miss potatoes or rice but pasta ... mmmmm! Still the cravings do go if you cut the carbs, and it does get easier. Agree with you about pizza though, total pap!
  9. John
    Pizza is the Perfect food. It has all 4 food groups and can either be a Square meal or a Well Rounded meal. It is my achilles heal of LCHF dieting.
  10. Joanna Ibarra
    Fathead Pizza completely satisfies any pizza craving for me. It's delicious, easy to make and a darn good substitute!!
  11. Ginny
    Erin, I always had the opposite experience. My mother is Italian and we spent many summers in Italy staying with multiple relatives around the country, eating at friends homes and at restaurants. We were only ever served modest amounts of pasta - generally as a starter dish. Maybe things have changed since then but all my (many, many) Italian relatives are slim and judging by facebook pics still eat carbs quite happily. None of them are diabetic either. Grrr!
  12. Lindy
    For me the clue is in the word “Barilla” -self interest, financial gain, bringing back their profits.
    Leave the pasta on the supermarket shelf.
  13. Yesssss! Thank your for backing-up the silly "studies" with the science, or lack-thereof. Its so important (especially in today's political and corporate climate) that we, as consumers, understand where the FACTS are and how those facts are funded. Andreas, AWESOME! Boom!
  14. MARCELA
    I must say that in the past I've been following a well known diet where you eat as much as you like food, but removes all the fat and you have an allowance of 15 SYNS as they call it of any chocolates or any other food that is not on the list that the give you, and certain "HEALTHY EXTRAS" every day, I lost nearly 2 stones over a period of 4 months, BUT I was always hungry and my cravings for rich full fat food never went away and I felt tired and irritable. Now I am losing weight steadily but I am happy and I don't have the cravings.. and also I know the bad effects of carbs on your health..

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