Two separate studies have shown how to lose weight by eating pasta and dessert, publishing findings this month that dieters everywhere can read and rejoice. First, a new survey of more than 23,000 people published earlier this month in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes linked pasta consumption with better weight management. Then, a recent study led by Professor Daniela Jakubowics of Tel Aviv University shows that incorporating daily dessert into a diet can actually help a person lose weight, reported Essence.
Of course, in both cases, there’s at least one catch, but the data still speaks for itself and seems to support other recent study findings that also point to the idea that many of our conventional ways to lose weight might not really be the best methods.
The pasta study was performed by researchers at Italy’s IRCCS Neuromed Institute, who found that pasta could be linked to both lower body mass and a lower waist-to-hip ratio. This means consuming this much-loved carbohydrate could actually help people lose weight, which is an idea that seems counterintuitive compared to the widely-held belief that pasta is fattening and linked to obesity.
“We have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite,” lead study author George Pounis told The Telegraph. “Our data shows that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio.”
Other fundamental components of Italian Mediterranean cuisine have already been proven to be among the healthiest diets in the world, but until now little research has been done on the specific role that pasta might play in weight loss and low obesity rates found among people who live in this part of the world.
“These results clearly show that it is wrong to demonize carbohydrates as the data clearly shows that consumption of a carbohydrate-rich food such as pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight.”
Still, it’s important to note that the study was conducted among an Italian-Mediterranean population, so although participants regularly consumed a large amount of pasta, they also followed a traditional Mediterranean diet, which consists mainly of super-healthy foods such as fish, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.
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In a recent study about the potential weight loss benefits of incorporating dessert into your daily diet, researchers say the catch comes with the time of day the sweet stuff is consumed. According to Jakubowicz, the time of day we eat – and this is especially true about sweets – has a huge impact on the way our metabolism functions and breaks down food.
“You have to eat the dessert for breakfast.”
In fact, study findings show that by eating sweets early, it can actually help stave off cravings for the rest of the day, which can be an effective tool for people who are trying to lose weight. Participants were asked to eat a large breakfast every morning that included a decadent dessert over a period of 12 weeks and the study included 93 women researchers classified as “obese” who were trying to lose weight.
According to the report, study participants were separated into two random groups and ate different diets to see who would lose the most weight. The first group ate 700 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch, and 200 at dinner. The second group did the exact opposite, but breakfast and dinner consisted of the same meals, including dessert. By the end of the study, the women in the group that ate breakfast with dessert lost an average of 10 pounds more weight than those in the second group. Participants who ate the larger breakfast with dessert also had “significantly lower” levels of insulin, glucose, and triglycerides throughout the day, which can help in efforts to lose weight, as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
[Photo via Shutterstock/Konontsev Artem]