Myths and misunderstandings about pasta are widespread. Most people are surprised to learn that pasta is a low Glycemic Index food, meaning that it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Pasta is digested slowly, due to the compact structure of its molecules. If you were to take two equal amounts of flour and turn one into bread and the other into pasta, you’d find that your body would digest the pasta slowly, providing you with long-lasting, steady fuel compared to the quicker, here-and-gone energy from a light, airy slice of white bread.

Science backs up this difference, with scores of studies. In one 2018 study, for instance, leading Canadian researchers analyzed 32 randomized clinical trial comparisons involving 2,448 adults (who were mostly middle aged and overweight or obese), to see how low glycemic diets with pasta relate to weight,. Compared with high Glycemic Index diets, the low Glycemic Index diets with pasta (about three ½ cup servings per week) were linked with modest weight loss (0.63 kg, or 1.4 pounds), even without cutting calories.

Pasta is a blank canvas for making delicious, healthy meals. Start with a reasonable amount of pasta – as is typical in traditional eating patterns – then top with greens or other vegetables, chickpeas or beans, perhaps a small amount of fish or chicken, then drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and you’ve got a quick and healthy meal that anyone can cook and everyone can afford. 

If you’ve been confused by misinformation, now’s the time to come back to pasta and healthy pasta meals. Oldways has great pasta resources to help you understand the benefits of pasta – and to inspire you to cook pasta more often! Here are just a few that may interest you. For more, search our Resources page.

Farfalle with Avocado Sauce

Pasta recipes

Our website has dozens of great pasta recipes, most of which are tagged Quick and Easy – meaning dinner’s on the table in less than a half hour.

Check out our pasta recipes


The Truth About Pasta

This 24-page booklet is a great overview of pasta, including why it’s good for us and good for the planet. We debunk 5 common pasta myths, provide tips on coooking pasta, and explain pasta’s role in traditional diets like the Mediterranean Diet and the Latin-American Diet.

Download The Truth About Pasta booklet

Pasta is Good for the Planet TED-Ed Video

Pasta Videos

Our series of TED-Ed videos offers a quick and fun way to learn about pasta’s many benefits.

Check out our pasta videos