If you're anything like me, your love of eating pasta and other carbohydrates can at times leave you thinking: "did my waistline really need that?"
I adore pasta dishes, from creamy carbonara to lasagne or spaghetti, there are so many tasty carb-heavy dishes I - and many others - struggle to say no to.
Along with pasta, carbs are also found in many everyday foods such as bread, cereal and some fruits and vegetables; they're also an essential part of a healthy diet and provide the body with much-needed energy.
So why do we often feel guilty for eating carbs?
It's often assumed that eating carbs is a big no-no when it comes to dieting and losing weight, which causes some people to steer clear of them entirely.
However, according to new study results published by the BMJ Open Journal, eating pasta (as opposed to other carbs) doesn't contribute to an increase in weight or body fat. Which is great news for pasta lovers!
The study, conducted by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital, saw participants consume 3.3 servings of pasta a week in place of other carbohydrates such as potato or bread, whilst keeping to a diet containing other low-GI foods.
Surprisingly, the results showed study participants actually lost weight when pasta was consumed as a part of a healthy dietary pattern (everything in moderation, as they say).
"The study found that pasta didn't contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat," says Dr. John Sievenpiper. "In fact analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as a low GI diet."
Pasta, unlike most refined carbohydrates, has a low-GI (glycaemic index), which means it causes smaller increases in blood sugar levels than foods with a high-GI.
Therefore, we're assuming, as long as we are maintaining a low GI diet, there's no need to ditch the pasta goodness we all love so much. Rejoice!
Although... the creamy, cheesy sauces we put on some of our pasta dishes may need a bit of revision.