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balanced diet

If like us, you love nothing more than a big dirty helping of spaghetti carbonara, then oh boy, have we got news for you. 

We've long been told that our infatuation with pasta isn't doing us any favours – mostly due to the high carbohydrate content and low vitamin and mineral count – but to be honest, that has never stopped us from indulging in our favourite dishes. 

However, it seems we no longer need to feel guilty about our dinner choices, because new research suggests that the Italian staple isn't the carb-loaded monster we were once led to believe. 

In fact, scientists have discovered that including pasta as part of a balanced diet may actually contribute to healthy weight loss. 

Published in BMJ Open, the study looked at how pasta consumption impacted the body weight and BMI of 2,488 participants. 

Those taking part in the study ate an average of 3.3 serving of pasts per week in conjunction with a low-GI (low-glycemic) diet. 

Unlike other refined carbohydrates such as white bread and potatoes, pasta typically has a low-GI, meaning it raises your blood sugar at a slower pace. 

Result showed that participants who ate pasta rather than other refined carbohydrates actually lost a small amount of weight during the study. 

"The study found that that pasta didn’t contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat,” said Dr John Sievenpiper, consultant physician at St Michael’s Hospital and lead author of the study.

"In fact analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as low-GI diet."

And while the discovery doesn't actually prove that pasta is some kind of miracle weight loss aid, it does show that it can be enjoyed without packing on the pounds. 

"In weighing the evidence, we can now say with some confidence that pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight outcomes when it is consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern."

More research needs to be conducted as to whether the effect would be seen when combined with a different type of diet, but for now, we'll enjoy our bolognese in peace. 

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No matter how devoted you are to weight loss fads, the only way you can truly maintain a healthy weight is if you follow a balanced diet.

Since it isn’t always easy, here are a few ways you can make some tiny adjustments to your eating habits:

Listen to your body
Try not to eat out of boredom. Instead, listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry.

Don’t skip meals
When you skip a meal during the day, you compensate for the missed meal and this causes you to overeat. Instead, eat regularly throughout the day.

Cut down
Instead of filling your plate, cut down on your portion sizes and add some variety to your meals.

Plan ahead
When you plan your meals a week in advance, it ensures you get a good mix of different foods and nutrients in your diet.

Be patient
Make small changes as you go along and you will eventually see the changes in your body. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

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