The role of refined carbohydrates in the diet has been questioned in recent years. Carbohydrates such as white flour, rice and potatoes have been criticised by some dietary campaigners for causing weight gain, alongside sugar. Even Carbohydrate staples such as pasta have been implicated in the obesity epidemic. It is unclear whether pasta contributes to weight gain or like other low-glycaemic index (GI) foods contributes to weight loss. Dr Laura Chiavaroli at Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and colleagues conducted a Systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate effect pasta had as part of a low-GI diet on measures of adiposity when compared to a higher-GI diet.The researchers found that Pasta in the context of low-GI dietary patterns does not adversely affect adiposity and even reduces body weight and BMI compared with higher-GI dietary patterns.The study has been published in Journal BMJ Open.
The researchers conducted a Systematic review and meta-analysis using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach by extracting Data from MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library were searched through 7 February 2017.They included randomised controlled trials ≥3 weeks assessing the effect of pasta alone or in the context of low-GI dietary patterns on measures of global (body weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat) and regional (waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD)) adiposity in adults.
The researchers identified no trial comparisons of the effect of pasta alone and 32 trial comparisons (n=2448 participants) of the effect of pasta in the context of low-GI dietary patterns. Pasta in the context of low-GI dietary patterns significantly reduced body weight (MD=−0.63 kg; 95% CI −0.84 to –0.42 kg) and BMI (MD=−0.26 kg/m2; 95% CI −0.36 to –0.16 kg/m2) compared with higher-GI dietary patterns. There was no effect on other measures of adiposity. The certainty of the evidence was graded as moderate for body weight, BMI, WHR and SAD and low for WC and body fat.
They found that people who ate pasta as part of a low-GI diet were likely to lose about 0.5kg more weight over an average 12 weeks.A low-GI, glycaemic index diet involves eating foods that don’t release a large amount of sugar into the blood after eating, such as beans, fruit, lentils and indeed pasta.
It was concluded that Pasta in the context of low-GI dietary patterns does not adversely affect adiposity and even reduces body weight and BMI compared with higher-GI dietary patterns. Future trials should assess the effect of pasta in the context of other ‘healthy’ dietary patterns.
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