Nutritional Strategies, Inc. conducted a study titled, “Pasta Consumption is Linked to Greater Nutrient Intakes and Improved Diet Quality in American Children and Adults, and Beneficial Weight-Related Outcomes Only in Adult Females”. The analysis was published in Frontiers in Nutrition.
The study explored the link between eating pasta, diet quality, and shortfall nutrient intakes in adolescents and adults. Findings suggested that individuals who consume pasta had better nutrient intake and diet quality than those who do not consume pasta.
In general, the study found that adults and children who ate pasta had lower intakes of saturated fat. “Pasta consumption in children was associated with a significantly improved total diet quality score (48.64 ± 0.99 vs. 45.55 ± 0.22, p = 0.0021)” (Papanikolaou, 2020). Regarding nutrients, the study found that adults who eat pasta had higher intakes of folate, iron, magnesium, and dietary fiber. Children who consume pasta had greater intakes of folate, iron, magnesium, dietary fiber, and vitamin E.
There were no notable differences in the daily sodium intakes of pasta eaters compared to non-pasta eaters. However, in adult women between 19-50 years of age, pasta consumption was associated with a reduced waist circumference and lower body weight.
“Pasta can be an effective building block for good nutrition throughout the lifecycle, as it serves as a perfect delivery system for fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish and legumes. Think of pasta as a canvas from which you can add almost any nutrient-dense, fiber-rich food you and your family like, to create memorable and delicious meals. This analysis underscores the nutritional importance of grains, such as pasta, as consistent with a healthy diet. It shows that pasta eaters have better quality diets than those who don’t eat pasta.”Diane Welland, Registered Dietitian, Director of Nutrition Communications for the National Pasta Association
Papanikolaou Y. (2020). Pasta Consumption Is Linked to Greater Nutrient Intakes and Improved Diet Quality in American Children and Adults, and Beneficial Weight-Related Outcomes Only in Adult Females. Frontiers in nutrition, 7, 112. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.00112