07/05/2016 10:38 EDT | Updated 07/05/2016 10:59 EDT

Pasta Doesn't Make You Gain Weight, According To New Research

New research from I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy, shows that when eaten as part of the Mediterranean diet, pasta could actually help cut your body mass index.

The research, published in 'Nutrition and Diabetes' studied more than 23,000 people and their eating habits in two epidemiological studies conducted in Italy.

"By analyzing anthropometric data of the participants and their eating habits, we have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite," said George Pounis, first author of the paper.

"Our data show that enjoying pasta according to individuals' needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio."

Although the benefits of the Mediterranean diet are now firmly established, this is the first study to examine pasta's role in it.

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