Our relationship with pasta recipes has always been a sort of forbidden love affair. If you’re trying to stick to an ultra healthy diet, it’s one of the first things you’re asked to cut. Because CARBS! The bikini bod’s enemy, right? Well, no. That might be one big fat lie. A recent study found that the Italian food staple might not *actually* be as a bad for you as everyone thinks. Hear that? That’s a choir of angels singing “Hallelujah” on repeat.

Amusing attractive young woman eating pasta in kitchen

A survey conducted by the Department of Epidemiology at the Institute for Research, Hospitalization, and Health Care Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy observed 23,000 people and found that the notoriously fattening food is actually linked to “the reduced likelihood of abdominal obesity.” Here’s the deal: Researchers looked at those 23,000 people’s eating habits and compared that data to their BMI, waist size and waist-to-hip ratio. They found that those who incorporated the food into their daily diet had “a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio.”

But before you make up for all carbonara dishes you’ve skipped over the years, there is one important element of this study to note. The typical serving size of pasta Italy is much small than in the US. There, the largest serving is typically about three ounces, which is about a third of a cup. So is chowing down on a full plate of fettucini the perfect way to drop 10 pounds? Sadly, no. However, these new findings prove that incorporating small portions of pasta into a balanced diet doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sabotaging your diet. Hey, we’ll take what we can get. Someone bust open the pesto.

What pasta dish is your total fave? Share with us on Twitter @britandco.

(Photo via Getty)