ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Italian-food lovers rejoice. Recently, a study conducted by Italian scientists found that pasta consumption is actually associated with a smaller waistline and a reduced risk of obesity. While most nutritional recommendations for weight loss typically ban pasta from Americans’ plates, these scientists say, Italians are able to indulge and stay slim. So what is their secret?
Italian researchers might have proven that pasta doesn’t make you fat, but that’s only if you eat like an Italian. Among those eating a more traditional Italian-Mediterranean diet, pasta consumption was linked to smaller waist size and lower BMI. Their diets are high in healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. But it isn’t all about what they eat; it is also how they eat it.
For Italians, mealtime is an event. Lunch is traditionally the most important meal of the day and is meant to be enjoyed with family members. Rather than one large entree, it is multi-course with smaller portion sizes, which makes for a well-paced and well-balanced meal.
Start with a course of pasta, but forget the high fat Alfredo sauce. One fourth cup Alfredo sauce is 81 calories, while one fourth cup of tomato sauce is only 20 calories.
For the second course, Italians typically eat a small portion of meat with a side of vegetables. Salad is served at the end of the meal to aids digestion.
Finally, Italians always wrap up their meals with fruit and coffee.
Even just taking the time to socialize and savor our food may prevent overeating. Experts say it can take around 20 minutes to process that you are full, so making mealtime a leisurely experience, like they do in Italy, may actually keep you slim.
This study was the first time pasta consumption was observed as a part of Italian cuisine for its association with obesity indexes. The Mediterranean diet was also recently proven to promote longevity as well as overall health.
Contributors to this news report include: Natalie Turturro and Brogan Morris, Producers; Tony D’Astoli, Editor and Videographer.