Pasta and pasta meals are part of healthy, traditional diets like the Mediterranean diet and the Latin American diet. These ways of eating are recommended by scientists around the world as very healthy. Thirty-four nutrition scientists from countries in different parts of the world met in Rome to discuss pasta and health. After reviewing the most current nutrition science evidence, they prepared a consensus statement summarizing why pasta is a healthy food, and why it forms the basis of healthy meals.
1. Pasta is a carbohydrate food, and carbohydrates are a key ingredient in healthy eating. Around the world, scientists and governments recommend that people divide their calories in this way: 45-60% from carbohydrates, 25-30% from fats, and 15-20% from proteins.
2. Pasta is a “good” carbohydrate. One key reason for this: the way pasta is made means that it is digested more slowly than many other foods. This is a health because foods that are digested slowly help your body get the full nutrition of those foods. Slow-release carbohydrates may also have benefit for healthy longevity as well as physical and cognitive performance. This means that eating pasta meals helps children to perform well at school and during their physical activities.
3. Pasta is usually eaten with other healthy foods, including olive oil, tomatoes, vegetables, cheese, beans, lean meats and fish. Many families think of pasta as a delicious, convenient and inexpensive way to deliver balanced healthy meals to their families.
4. Pasta does not cause weight gain. If you eat healthy-sized portions of pasta, you will not gain weight. Only if you eat too much of any of your foods will gain weight!
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