World Pasta Day 2017 in São Paolo, Brazil

November 2017  
Welcome to the new issue of The Truth About Pasta, the monthly newsletter from the International Pasta Organization. Each month's newsletter features a new and different topic -- all pointing to The Truth About Pasta. The truth is...pasta is healthy, sustainable, convenient, delicious, affordable, doesn't make you fat, and much, much more. Be sure to look for each new issue, with more topics and information.
International Nutrition Experts
Healthy Pasta Meals

At the 2017 World Pasta Day celebration in São Paulo, Brazil, scientists from Brazil and Turkey added their support to the Scientific Consensus Statement on Healthy Pasta Meals, which was updated in Milan in 2015.

Sara Baer-Sinnott
"Scientists around the world continue to support the role of the healthy pasta meal for all," said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways, the nonprofit that organizes the Scientific Consensus Statement on the Healthy Pasta Meal. "The signatures of these top international experts are an important addition to our ongoing effort to gain worldwide recognition of the important health and environmental benefits of pasta, and pasta's role in cuisines around the world."
In their presentations, the scientists dispelled the myth that pasta can contribute to weight gain, and detailed pasta's satiating properties.

Dr. Elizabete Wenzel de Menezes
, of the Food Research Center and University of São Paulo, has documented these differences firsthand. "If I eat pasta, what do I eat at the next meal? About 10-15% less," she says.
"A positive effect of pasta is the low postprandial glycemic response, which is a consequence of the structure and type of starch. The resistant starch fermentation by intestinal microbiota produces short-chain fat acids (SCFA). These SCFA may increase satiety and improve insulin sensitivity, modulate the intestinal microbiota etc. In addition, the whole grain pasta can contribute to daily intake of dietary fiber."

Additionally, "pasta is a versatile food to make healthy meals," according to 
Dr. Mauro Fisberg of the Nutrition and Feeding Difficulties Center, Pensi Institute at Sabará Children's Hospital in Sao Paulo and Federal University of São Paulo. "Based on the fact that the majority of the countries in Latin America do have pasta as a routine food, in different preparations, it is possible to understand that the Mediterranean diet has spread its presence in the continent. The combination of pasta, vegetables, fish or seafood and oil is omnipresent even in regions far away from the seaside."

Dr. Nevin Sanlier, of Biruni University in Instanbul, added that "pasta meals are a delicious way to eat more vegetables," and described some of the creative, healthy pasta meals from her home in Turkey (like pasta with garlicky yogurt, walnuts, and red peppers). "In the proper amounts and frequency, pasta may be part of most diets including those adopted for losing pounds, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular diseases. Pasta meals are a good source of complex carbohydrates, especially when prepared with whole grains. Remember - pasta doesn't increase your body weight - it's the amount and type of sauces and fats used during cooking that can add calories."

These experts also described how pasta nourishes us from the inside out. "Our bacteria live on what we eat," explained Dr. Dan Waitzberg, of the Food Research Center and University of São Paulo. The compounds that stimulate the growth of "friendly" bacteria in our bodies are called prebiotics. "Pasta metabolizes slowly due to its low glycemic response. Because pasta keeps you fuller for longer, healthy pasta meals can be a useful approach to help maintain good nutrition and prevent the overeating that can lead to obesity. People should not fear carbohydrates. Rather, they should be instructed to choose healthy, complex carbohydrates, such as pasta, and pair them with other nutritious foods."

According to Dr. Glaucia Maria Pastore, of the University of Campinas UNICAMP, "prebiotics are mostly carbohydrates," like pasta. She further explains that whole wheat pasta, which has even more fiber, can further help "promote the growth of good bacteria."

While classic pasta dishes are mainstays around the globe, the World Pasta Day celebration highlighted innovative pasta products throughout the market, such as fiber pasta, sprouted pasta, and flavored pastas. No matter what type of cuisine consumers are interested in, there's a pasta dish out there for everyone.

Dr. Kantha Shelke
"How do you perfect an already perfect food? Pasta is everything today's consumer wants - it is convenient, quick, healthy, versatile, affordable and pleases the entire family. What is simpler than boiling water? It's adaptable for every culture and nearly every nation has an iconic pasta dish," explained Dr. Kantha Shelke, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a Food Scientist/Principal at Corvus Blue.

Pasta Makes the World a Better Place
Sir Chef Bruno Serato
It's hard to repress a smile when thinking of pasta, yet many don't realize the transformative effect that pasta meals are having around the world. On World Pasta Day 2017, Sir Chef Bruno Serato, founder of Caterina's Club, and Chef David Hertz, founder of Gastromotiva, announced the "Power of Pasta Initiative." Already more than 3 million plates of pasta have been donated by pasta makers worldwide.  

Chef David Hertz
But the power of pasta goes beyond just a warm meal to fill the stomach. As Chef Hertz explained to the audience, "Food is a powerful agent for transformation and social inclusion. The Power of Pasta initiative is another way to help bring wellbeing to people in need, which can help transform lives."

Similarly, Chef Serato said "Through the Power of Pasta, offering a simple dish like spaghetti with tomato sauce using local seasonal ingredients, we can help feed the hungry, meeting different culinary traditions and bringing people together over a healthy meal."   

Pasta Sales Grow
"Consumers want to eat more healthfully, but they can't do it alone," says Domenico Tremaroli, industry leader for Nielsen. That's why pasta, a versatile ingredient that pairs beautifully with vegetables, legumes, fish, and olive oil, has been such a popular pick with shoppers. In fact, Tremaroli reported that global pasta sales currently are up 2.3 percent.  
To view the full World Pasta Day 2017 program
or download the presentations, click here.

Video of the Month   

Watch this video to learn more about why Pasta Does Not Make You Fat.  

Then, test your knowledge in this TED-Ed lesson.

Recipe of the Month
Spaghetti al pomodoro was chosen to symbolize World Pasta Day 2017, as it is simple, delicious, healthy, sustainable, and brings people together around the table. In honor of World Pasta Day 2017, Chef Bruno Serato, author of the new book,  The Power of Pasta: A Celebrity Chef's Mission to Feed America's Hungry Children , shares a favorite recipe.  
Mamma's Spaghetti Pomodoro
Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound peeled tomatoes
1 quart tomato sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 pound spaghetti pasta

  1. Place oil, garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, regular salt, and pepper in a medium hot skillet and bring it to the boiling point. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the last minute stir in the basil and parsley.
  2. For the pasta, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Add 1 pound of spaghetti or other pasta and cook until barely al dente.
  3. Drain pasta and place on a serving dish. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and serve with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
 Makes 4 servings

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