Groups publish new 'Pasta for All' brochure

by Eric Schroeder
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BOSTON — Oldways Preservation Trust, a non-profit food and nutrition education organization and parent of the Whole Grains Council, teamed with the International Pasta Organization to publish a new “Pasta for All” brochure.

The brochure, which became available at www.oldwayspt.org on World Pasta Day (Oct. 25), includes a scientific consensus statement with the most updated body of scientific evidence about the healthfulness of pasta. The statement, the I.P.O.’s first update since 2004, reinforces pasta as “an affordable, healthy carbohydrate food and a delicious way to eat more vegetables, legumes and other healthy foods often under consumed.”

“The healthy pasta meal consensus statement goes hand and hand with the U.S.D.A.’s new message to fill half your plate with vegetables,” said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways. “Pasta is the ultimate vehicle for pairing with vegetables and other wholesome ingredients such as olive oil, fish, beans, or good cheese. Combined with peas, tossed in a vegetable primavera or topped with a puttanesca, pasta is the perfect approach to healthy and affordable family meals.”

Scientists that took part in forming the scientific consensus statement identified eight key points:

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.”
For more information on World Pasta Day visit www.internationalpasta.org.

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