Research: Pasta can eaten without causing weight gain.


Pasta can be part of a healthy weight loss and maintenance diet.  

Waist Circumference Measurement

Waist Circumference Measurement

Pasta is a staple of many American diets.  It has long been vilified as a cause of obesity because it has high carbohydrate content.  This being said, this statement is not backed by research. It is unclear whether pasta contributes to weight gain and any suggestion is conjecture.   Unlike many modern, refined carbohydrates such as flour and sugar, pasta is not a high glycemic index food so all of the negative comments and press may not be warranted.  

A new study released in January of 2018 appears to show some confirmation that the press is not deserved[1].  The meta-analysis was published in the Brittish Medical Journal Open.  It looked at 32 prior studies that looked a pasta and weight gain or obesity.  There were 2448 subjects in the studies.  The researchers found there was no effect on other measures of adiposity (body fat).  In the study, pasta, in the context of low-GI diet, resulted in significantly reduced body weight and BMI.   

The bottom line: Pasta in the context of low-GI dietary patterns does not adversely affect body fat and even reduces body weight and BMI compared with higher-GI dietary patterns. More research is needed.  Researcher felt future trials should assess the effect of pasta in the context of other ‘healthy’ dietary patterns.


L. Chiavaroli et al., “Effect of pasta in the context of low-glycaemic index dietary patterns on body weight and markers of adiposity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials in adults,” B, vol. 8, no. 3, p. e019438, Mar. 2018 [Online]. Available: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019438″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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