Consumers Urged To Cook Pasta On October 25

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Celebrating 15th Annual World Pasta Day

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Pasta meals are the perfect delivery system for healthy foods for the entire family.

On Monday, October 25, 2010, consumers around the world will commemorate World Pasta Day, an annual day of celebration featuring that global staple: pasta. Created to highlight the health and economic benefits of the healthy pasta meal, World Pasta Day invites people around the world to gather friends and family and cook up their favorite pasta dish, whether it’s linguine or lasagna, ravioli, rigatoni or rotini.

As part of the worldwide celebration, hundreds of scientists, food authorities and pasta manufacturers will gather at the IV World Pasta Congress, October 25-26, 2010, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During this two-day event, non-profit organizations, Oldways and the International Pasta Organization (IPO), will also organize a meeting of scientists about nutrition and healthy pasta meals.

The meeting is significant as it will produce a new Scientific Consensus Statement – the first since 2004 – that reinforces pasta as a healthy carbohydrate providing solid nutritional benefits when eaten as part of a balanced meal. It is based on the most updated body of scientific evidence about the healthfulness of pasta.

“World Pasta Day is an opportunity to prepare the ultimate healthy pasta meal by getting creative in the kitchen, pairing pasta with wholesome partners such as olive oil, tomatoes, onions, vegetables, fish, beans, garlic, and a tablespoon or two of good cheese,” said Sara Baer-Sinnott, President, Oldways. “Pasta meals are the perfect delivery system for healthy foods for the entire family.”

Research shows the importance of total diet, based on traditional eating patterns such as the Mediterranean Diet and the traditional Latin American Diet, in promoting better health. In addition to the nutritional merits of the healthy pasta meal, the widespread availability and affordability of pasta earns it an important place at the global dining table.

"Recent research reveals diets that are successful in causing weight loss can emphasize a range of carbohydrate, fat and protein composition and have beneficial effects on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” said Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN, Director, Department of Nutrition, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Such diets can also be tailored to an individual's lifestyle along with their cultural and personal preferences and thus have the best chance for long term success."

To celebrate World Pasta Day, Oldways recommends:

  •     Try a new pasta – there are 600 shapes produced worldwide, including many whole grain options.
  •     Mind your portions – Americans tend to overload their plates. A healthy portion of pasta is one to two cups cooked (1 cup of cooked pasta is about 200 calories). When eaten in the proper portions and in combination with healthy foods, pasta does not cause weight gain.
  •     Cook up your favorite pasta dish at home – All it takes is a few simple ingredients --for instance, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and pasta – to create a nutritious and delicious meal.
  •     Go meatless – Try a hearty vegetable and bean soup such as Pasta e Fagioli or enjoy pasta with roasted seasonal vegetables like cauliflower, or even pumpkin, for a perfect fall pasta meal.

Since 1995, World Pasta Day has been an international celebration of pasta — a food consumed all over the world in varying cuisines. Brazil was a natural candidate to host the conference as it is the 3rd leading pasta manufacturing country, behind Italy and the U.S.** according to the IPO. Turkey and Venezuela round out the top five. In terms of worldwide pasta consumption, Italy leads the pack followed by Venezuela, the U.S., Chile and France.

Please contact Alison Clancy (aclancy(at)oldwayspt(dot)org or 617-896-4888) for a copy of the “Healthy Pasta Meals” 2010 Consensus Statement (available October 26, 2010), recipes, hi-res graphics or to schedule an interview.

About Oldways
Oldways (http://www.oldwayspt.org) is an internationally-respected non-profit, changing the way people eat through positive and practical programs grounded in science and tradition. It is the parent organization for The Whole Grains Council and The Mediterranean Foods Alliance, and is well known for creating the Whole Grain Stamp and the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

**Source: Survey carried out by UN.I.P.I.

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Alison Clancy
Oldways
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