Can Pasta Be Included in A Healthy Weight Loss Plan? Answered by a certified dietitian nutritionist
As a Long Island registered dietitian nutritionist, many of my weight loss patients mistakenly think that pasta must be avoided. Pasta is restricted on most “one-size-fits all diets” since it is typically viewed as a food that causes weight gain or at the least prevents weight loss. The science, however, says otherwise. Research has shown that pasta is associated with a lower body mass index (BMI) and a smaller waist-to-hip ratio (reduced central body fat), which can be translated to a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Most diet programs restrict carbohydrates, and since pasta is a carbohydrate, it is included on the “do-not-eat” list. What you are not told is that all foods that grow in the ground or come from something that grows in the ground are carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits and starches). In other words, when you eat a food that comes from the plant kingdom it is a carbohydrate. You are also not told that studies have found that weight loss was similar for those on a high-carbohydrate diet as on a low-carbohydrate diet.
Pasta is not the problem. What prevents weight loss is the quantities they consume and the toppings and extras such as an alfredo sauce or lasagna (high fat meat and cheese).
It is equally important to understand that these cookie cutter low carbohydrate programs are opposite to science-based dietary requirements for good health. A plant forward diet, a balanced meal plan that includes all foods, is an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan that is consistent with the improvement of most medial conditions and recommended not only by Registered Dietitian Nutritionists but also by medical organizations’ including the American Diabetes association.
To attain an optimal weight and promote health goals, I work with individuals to personalize their sustainable weight loss programs.
Read more about the science of pasta and weight loss here:
“Does Pasta Have a Place in a Weight-Loss Diet?” Webb, Denise, PhD RD. Environmental Nutrition. March 2020.