Why we should not believe so quickly the study that pasta does not fatten

The pasta is not fattening. Not the bread. Not the beer. Nor the wine. Already put, neither the chips. No food fattens or slims by itself, but it gives us a certain amount of energy that, in the context of a complete diet (taking into account everything we bring in the day and everything that our body consumes at the end of this) Will be what determines if we go up in weight, lower or stay.

A study that says that, indeed, the pasta is not fattening has been going around the nets since a few days ago . Well, it depends on the context and not specifically on the pasta. If we go a little deeper, we find many studies of different types that tell us that this or that food is not fattening, and probably also tell us that they are very beneficial for our organism. Should we always trust in these studies?

Focusing on a single food is not the answer

Studies on gain or loss of weight that focus only on a single food or sometimes on a single nutrient should now alert us to its truthfulness. And is that it is not possible to consider if a person is going to fatten a particular food without taking into account the rest of their diet.

Many times we hear questions like “(insert here your favorite food, usually quite caloric) fattening?”. And it is that a food is not fattening: it gives us an amount of energy in the form of calories , with a contribution of macronutrients and specific micronutrients. But calories are not the only thing that counts: depending on the macro and micronutrients of that food and the other foods with which we accompany it, our body will react in a concrete way before them.

A positive approach to food

Eating only thinking about whether a food is going to make us fat or not, besides being absurd can be dangerous because it leads to an approach not recommended for food in which we only see it as “portions of calories that I They are going to make you fat.”

A much more positive approach is the one we can have when we understand that food is not the enemy , but rather a weapon to help us reach our goals. In the case of sport, for example, it is very difficult to have a good performance if we do not feed properly. We have to take into account that what we ingest is going to be our fuel for training, so we try to give our body the calories, macronutrients and micronutrients it needs.

Caloric balance is not all that matters

“To lose weight you have to eat less than you spend.” Yes, it is true, but is it already? Of course not, and is that not everything depends on the caloric balance . Returning to the subject of pasta, it has long been considered a food almost banned in weight loss diets for several reasons: on the one hand because these are carbohydrates with a high glycemic index that cause us a sudden rise in glucose In blood when consuming them, on the other because it is rarely eaten in bianco but is usually accompanied by rich (and caloric) sauces and, finally, because they usually eat pasta dishes rather generous when we get to it.

So we are so surprised to see a study in which a food that has traditionally been considered an enemy of weight control suddenly tell us that it does not make you fat. Can you lose weight by eating pasta? It always depends on the rest of your food, and the same applies to any other food: chocolate, eggs, potitos, donuts …

Do not swell to pasta … because you do not need so much

However, calorie counting is not the only thing we must take into account when it comes to losing weight: the balance of macronutrients and the correct contribution of micronutrients is another factor to take into account when we diet. The pasta is basically carbohydrates, of which we are quite leftover in our food (check it: look at the plates of your breakfast, lunch and dinner and you will see how in the three there is some source of carbohydrates). What if we change that pasta dish to another traditional avocado, like lentils? We will get about half of the carbohydrates, but we will increase the proteins and we will also reduce the fats (in the pasta dishes, generally coming from cheeses or sauces).

In our daily planning, it is very easy for us to spend on the amount of carbohydrates : cereals or toast at breakfast , bread, potatoes or rice at lunch or dinner, not counting the fruit and vegetables that should be present at each main meal . It would be smarter to carry a balanced diet, make a contribution of beneficial fats (nuts, avocados) or quality protein (chicken, veal, legumes) before another contribution of pasta.

Studies everywhere, what should we believe?

Almost every day we can find a new study in which it is said that this or that food does not fatten, or also in the opposite direction, that this or that food raises cholesterol or even causes cancer. With all the information that comes our way, how can we distinguish studies that truly deserve credibility from those who are looking for an easy headline in the press? We can follow some simple steps.

  • Who funded the study? It is necessary to see if in that particular study there is a conflict of interests on the part of the authors.
  • Population on which the study has been made and duration of the study: it will not have the same reliability a study that has been done on thousands of people for years than others who has taken a couple of weeks on 15 people in a laboratory.
  • Methodology of the study: have all variables been controlled methodically? This study on pasta in particular has been carried out by telephone calls to the people who participated in it. The method of the telephone survey does not seem very reliable; As Dr. House said, “everyone lies.”
  • What type of study is it? In the image that accompanies this paragraph you can see the reliability of the different studies. Those that deserve more credibility are meta-analyzes (a study of many studies, we could say), whereas in the specific case of the study of pasta we are faced with a methodology of descriptive study.

Knowing all this, we can already face the next study that tells us that the potato removes the cold or similar. Read, read, read and doubt everything you read.

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