PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pasta lovers rejoice, a new study reveals that the popular dinner table item may not lead to weight gain.

Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto conducted 30 randomized control trials involving almost 2,500 people who ate pasta instead of other carbohydrates as part of a healthy low-glycemic index diet.

Their findings? Eating pasta doesn’t contribute to more body fat.

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“The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat,” said lead author Dr. John Sievenpiper, a clinician scientist with the hospital’s Clinical Nutrition and Risk Modification Centre. “In fact analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as a low GI diet.”

Researchers say those involved in the trials ate 3.3 servings of pasta a week instead of other carbohydrates. One serving equals about one-half cup of cooked pasta. They lost about 1.1 pounds on average after 12 weeks.

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However, officials stressed that the results are specific to pasta consumed along with other low-glycemic index foods as part of a low-glycemic index diet. Researchers caution more work is needed to determine if the lack of weight gain will extend to pasta as part of other healthy diets.

“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,” said Dr. Sievenpiper.

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