CBS Local — A new study has good news for pasta fans who are looking to enjoy their spaghetti but still watch their weight.

According to researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, carbohydrates found in pasta have a low glycemic index. This means that they cause smaller increases in blood sugar levels and are less likely to affect your waistline.

“The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat,” Dr. John Sievenpiper said in the press release. “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.”

Diets high in carbohydrates have been previously linked to obesity however, health experts explain that cutting them out of your diet completely is not always an effective answer. “The problem with prescribing low carb diets—by extension, a low glycemic diet—is that people develop a yearning for carbs,” Dr. Louis Aronne tells Popular Science. “The question is, how do you satisfy that and still have the metabolic effect of the diet.”

Researchers studied almost 2,500 people who switched out other “refined” carbohydrates for pasta as part of a low glycemic index diet. The results, published in BMJ Open, found that having three servings of pasta a week instead of other foods contributed to a slight drop in weight over the 12-week trial.

“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,” Dr. Sievenpiper added.

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