Pasta has been unjustly vilified in recent years as a leading culprit in the rise of obesity around the globe. It has been attacked as a (gasp!) carbohydrate, a food type many health experts say we should avoid.
The obvious problem with this assessment is that pasta is a traditional food that predates the emergence of the obesity and diabetes pandemics. And in Italy — pasta central, where pasta is eaten on average at least once a day — the denizens benefit from one of the lowest rates of obesity in Europe, if not the world.
The truth is, pasta is and has long been a healthy carbohydrate and a central component of the Mediterranean diet, broadly considered one of the best lifestyle diets for maintaining a healthy weight.
How did pasta get such a bad rap? The primary reason is a simple misconception — that pasta is akin to bread made from wheat. In fact, pasta is made from durum, a wholly different species from bread wheat in that it contains a third fewer chromosomes. Durum is an older species and a hybrid of wild grasses; modern bread wheat is more domesticated.
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