“So it’s nice to see this evidence. In the end, weight gain occurs with overconsumption of calories and so portion size matters. Regular portions of healthy pasta can be part of a healthy balanced diet and this work supports this view.”
However some nutritionists said it was still unwise to eat refined carbohydrates.
Geeta Sidhu-Robb, founder of Nosh Detox, the clean eating home delivery service whose clients include Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow said: “Simple-carb foods are those that your body breaks down quickly and easily, including sweeteners such as sugar and honey or refined grains like pasta.
“Because these carbohydrates are broken down so quickly, they cause spikes in our blood sugar levels.
“Because we are grazers, our insulin never gets the chance to drop enough before we eat again which means the whole cycle starts up again. This means we end up storing more and more stubborn fat which we are unable to get rid of.
“Giving up carbs such as pasta for a period, whilst eating good fats at every meal, will reverse this process.”
The research was published in the journal BMJ Open.