How pasta and potatoes can actually help you lose weight


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What if I told you that white foods, in general, may help you lose weight, provide nutrients that you’re not eating enough of, and offer more fibre than many other foods?

How pasta and potatoes can actually help you lose weight

Look, white, overly processed, refined foods like sugar, flour, and bread aren’t exactly a six-pack’s best friends.

But when you start lumping them together with foods such as cauliflower, white beans, white potatoes, and pasta, you begin to make false assumptions.

A recent paper in Nutrition and Diabetes found that eating pasta as a component of the Mediterranean diet in Italy was negatively associated with BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio.

Yes, eating pasta meant people had smaller waists and weighed less.

What gives?

The key with any food, really, isn’t colour. It’s portion sizes. Pasta falls in this category—as does cereal, bread, and pizza.

You’ve heard the saying that “the poison is in the dose?”

With any of these mentioned above, the key is to avoid the oversized “American portion” and instead use “white foods” as a side. Then balance the rest of your plate with other colourful vegetables, fruit, and protein.

“Pasta is an excellent vehicle to get people to eat other nutrient-rich foods, like pulses, vegetables and fresh herbs,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N., author of The Carb Lovers Diet and Eating in Color.

Other foods, like potatoes, can be the same. Use one as a base to make a “loaded” potato: Top it with vegetables and some lean ground beef for a simple, well-balanced meal.

“Carbohydrates are essential for health and are your body and the brain’s preferred form of energy,” says Largeman-Roth.

Skipping out on them will have you feeling drained in the office and dragging in the gym.

Three key things to remember:

Use “white” foods like pasta and bread as a part of your plate, not the focus of the meal. Balance your meal with a proper portion among lean protein and vegetables by using them as the vehicle for added nutrition.
Enjoy a variety of unprocessed white foods: cauliflower, white beans, onions, etc. You’ll net the benefits of fibre, vitamins, and minerals associated with each.
No single food, ingredient, or colour, will ever make or break your diet or health.

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