File this under the most self-validating news ever: Contrary to what your zoodle-obsessed peers might have you believe, new research suggests that people who eat pasta—real, carb-laden pasta—are more likely to have healthier diets than those who don't.
The study, released last November, examined the relationship between pasta consumption and general dietary habits in U.S. adults. (It's quite the niche topic to study, but we'll take it.) Pulling data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey—a widespread national survey conducted in the U.S. from 2001 to 2012—the scientists found a few different positive correlations among pasta eaters and their diets. For starters, those who ate pasta also ranked higher on the USDA's Healthy Eating Index, and they tended to consume more nutrients like folate, iron, magnesium, and fiber. Perhaps more significantly, these people also ate less saturated fat and sugar.
It is worth noting that the study was sponsored by the National Pasta Association, but it does speak to the fact that a little healthy indulgence keeps us balanced. If you're actively trying to lose weight and still want to honor that spaghetti craving, nutritionist Farah Fahad of The Farah Effect suggests cutting your serving in half and adding lots of veggies. Marinara sauce, anyone?
Our bonus advice: Keep a food scale around in order to ensure that your serving sizes are correct. (Ozeris Multifunction Food Scale, $15, is a high-quality option that's wallet-friendly to boot.) And on that note, learn how to eat all the carbs you want—and still shed pounds.