Nutrition Information: Pasta and Healthy Pasta Meals
Pasta made headlines around the world in late October 2010 when nutrition scientists from four continents met in Rio de Janeiro to discuss pasta and health. Their conclusions? Pasta is a healthy carbohydrate food, and is a key ingredient of healthy traditional diets around the world, including the Mediterranean and Latin American Diets.
To learn WHY pasta is healthy, take a look at the conclusions of the Healthy Pasta Meal Scientific Consensus Statement, agreed upon by the prestigious international scientists when they met in Rio (below). To learn more about the points of the Scientific Consensus Statement, and also to read a "consumer friendly" summary of a selection of scientific studies supporting these points, click here to download the brochure, PASTA FOR ALL.
Click here for the Scientific Consensus Statement only, Short version, in four languages (English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish), or the Long version, with background information, in English only.
Points of the Scientific Consensus Statement
1. Scientific research increasingly supports the importance of total diet, rather than individual foods and nutrients.
2. Pasta is a key component of many of the world’s traditional healthy eating patterns, such as the scientifically proven Mediterranean Diet. Traditional dietary patterns confer greater health benefits than current Western dietary patterns.
3. Many clinical trials confirm that excess calories, and not carbohydrates, are responsible for obesity. Diets successful in promoting weight loss can emphasize a range of healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat. These three macronutrients, in balance, are essential for designing a healthy, individualized diet anyone can follow for their whole life. Moreover, very low-carb diets may not be safe, especially in the long term.
4. At a time when obesity and diabetes are rising around the world, pasta meals and other low-glycemic foods may help control blood sugar and weight especially in overweight people. Glycemic index is one of many factors that impact the healthfulness of foods.
5. Pasta is an affordable healthy choice available in almost all societies. Promoting the affordability and accessibility of pasta meals can help overcome the misperception that healthy foods are too expensive.
6. Healthy pasta meals are a delicious way to eat more vegetables, legumes, and other healthy foods often under-consumed.
7. Pasta meals are enjoyed in cultural traditions worldwide, as they are versatile and easily adaptable to national/regional seasonal ingredients.
8. Doctors, nutritionists, and other health professionals should recommend varied and balanced pasta meals for good health.