In an interview with LIFE Magazine in 1961, Sophia Loren famously said “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” According to reporter Dora Jane Hamblin, Loren “ate everything in sight” during the interview and “washed it down with red wine.” Loren has since denied she ever said the spaghetti comment, but even so, it has made the rounds in print, on the web, and on social media ever since. 

It’s no surprise that Loren’s (alleged) quote is so iconic—people love an excuse to eat more spaghetti. It’s one of Italy’s most famous food exports and in the US, more than half of the population eats the noodles, or some other form of pasta, every week.

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But despite their popularity, carb-heavy dishes still have a reputation for being “bad” for us. This is perpetuated by lovers of diets like keto, which promotes a high-fat, low-carbohydrate approach to eating.

But we’re here to tell you: carbohydrates are good for our bodies and we don’t need to cut them out of our diets or feel guilty for enjoying them. But don’t just take it from us, take it from the A-listers below. Just like Loren, who is now nearly 90 years old, all of these celebrities prove that carbs are a food group to be celebrated. 

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Sophia LorenComet Photo AG (Zürich) | Wikimedia Commons

Are carbohydrates good or bad for you?

Carbohydrates are an incredibly important nutrient. They are the body’s main source of energy and are broken down into glucose, which is particularly important for the brain, as it relies on glucose for proper function. On top of this, carbohydrates, especially those that are high in fiber, help to maintain a healthy digestive system. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, helps to prevent constipation, and supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

Not all carbohydrate sources are equal, however. The best sources of this nutrient are in foods like whole grains, legumes, and vegetables. These foods are not just incredibly dense in other nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but they provide complex carbohydrates that break down slowly, providing a steady release of energy, which helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

two women eating pastaPexels

Refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, have been stripped of most of their fiber, vitamins, and minerals during processing. These are foods like white bread, white rice, and pastries, for example. Refined carbohydrates are not inherently “bad,” but research suggests they are best enjoyed in moderation. Diets high in refined carbohydrates are associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

That said, most experts agree it’s not necessary to completely deprive ourselves of these foods. It’s important to note that we don’t just don’t eat for health or nutrition, of course. A donut, a portion of French fries, or a bowl of white pasta can make us feel joy, comfort, or nostalgia. 

“Of course, certain foods have more nutrients than others, and yes, the fibrous carbs are going to have the best overall impact on our health,” writes Joshua Wolrich, MBBS, MRCS for Healthline. “It’s possible to recognize the hierarchy of benefits that certain foods have without demonizing others to the extent of exclusion and restriction.”

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8 celebrities who love carbs

Again, in the words of Loren, “Food makes people happy, it takes you back home, it says so many things that words can’t say.” In celebration of all things carbs, here are 10 more celebrities who love everything from pasta to pizza.

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1 Stanley Tucci

Stanley Tucci loves Italian food, so, of course, he loves carbs. One of the actor’s favorite dishes is pasta e fagioli, which directly translates to “pasta and beans.” In a Today segment last year, while making his version of the recipe, he said, “It’s a classic, classic dish, it’s been around forever.” He added: “It’s been abused sometimes, and made, sometimes, really badly, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s incredibly simple.”

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2 Carrie Underwood

Lasagna lovers, Carrie Underwood is right there with you. The singer’s version is called “ugly lasagna” because it’s not the most visually appealing version of the dish, but it is super nutritious. Her recipe involves plenty of vegetables, including spinach, bell peppers, and onions, as well as plant-based cheese. The lasagna sheets are also made with whole wheat pasta, rather than white.

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3 Daniella Monet

Actress Daniella Monet also can’t get enough of lasagna—specifically Sunday Supper’s ready-to-bake vegan lasagna. “Making lasagna is one of the more laborious jobs. I’ve made it myself, but it’s not something that with two little ones I can whip up as much as I’d like,” she told VegNews earlier this year. “Knowing that this exists for myself and others, it was just very exciting. It felt very nostalgic and is such a crowd pleaser.”

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5 Travis Barker

Not much beats a breakfast bagel, and Travis Barker agrees. Before we rang in 2024, the drummer teamed up with vegan cheese brand Violife and the Wiiildy Good Breakfast Club to encourage people to make their first meal of the New Year a free vegan breakfast bagel. “In the words of Travis Barker ‘our products are f*cking awesome’ (excuse my French), which is why we are inspiring better habits by offering animal-free bagels and Violife dairy-free Cream Cheese,” said Olga Osminkina-Jones, Violife’s Global President at the time. 

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6 Amy Schumer

Like Loren, Amy Schumer is a big fan of wine and pasta. Back in 2018, after The Late Show with Stephen Colbert host Stephen Colbert informed her that “some people just don’t do carbs,” she responded in mock horror before revealing she has pasta and wine most nights. “You know actresses say, ‘Oh, I love cheeseburgers!’? I’m what you look like if you have pasta and wine,” she said. Colbert responded: “Which is absolutely beautiful, by the way.”

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6 Kourtney Kardashian

Just like her husband Barker, Kourtney Kardashian is also a big foodie. Earlier this year, while the drummer was touring with his band Blink-182 in Australia, the duo indulged in pasta at Smith & Deli, a Melbourne café renowned for its range of vegan deli fare. They also indulged in Thai noodles, vegan burgers, and Mexican food during the trip.

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7 Alicia Silverstone

Clueless star Alicia Silverstone is a long-time vegan, and she’s passionate about whole foods. “I always avoid animal-derived ingredients. I try to avoid any added sugars and any ingredient with numbers in it – that’s just bad news,” she told The Chalkboard Mag. During the interview, she also revealed one of her favorite savory treats is “sourdough bread, spread with Earth Balance butter, and topped with sliced tomatoes and a tiny pinch of salt. Yum!”

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8 Kim Kardashian

Just like sister Kourtney, Kim Kardashian is a big fan of Italian food. Last year, she shared a recipe on Poosh (Kourtney’s wellness platform) for a veggie-packed vegan pizza with a cauliflower crust. “Kim has a special knack for creating the most delicious comfort foods out of clean ingredients and making fully vegan dishes,” Poosh captioned the post. “When she shared this colorful, loaded pizza recipe with us, we couldn’t wait to try it.”

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