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Study Finds Dreamfields Pasta Produces Identical Glucose Curves as Regular Dry Pasta

I have long been suspicious of the claims for Dreamfield's pasta that all but three grams of the over-50 grams reported on the label somehow mysteriously dissappear due to some magical process they refuse to describe. Now a report in this month's journal, Diabetes Care confirms I was right to be suspicious.

Here's the study:

Glycemic Response to Ingested Dreamfields Pasta Compared With Traditional PastaFrank Q. Nuttall et al.Diabetes Care January 26, 2011 vol. 34 no. 2 e17-e18. doi: 10.2337/dc10-1957

Here are the relevant graphs:

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/34/2/e17/F1.expansion.html

This study was done with subjects who did not have diabetes, however the significant and prolonged average blood sugar spike seen in the first group, suggests it contained someone (or two) with less "normal" blood sugars than would have been indicated by their fasting glucose test. The results make it clear that in thse study subjects, Dreamfields was metabolizing into glucose at the identical rate as cheap dry pasta.

Now mind you, the 50-some grams of carbohydrate in regular dry pasta does hit the blood sugar a lot more slowly than does bread of potatoes, which is why those dreadful diabetes magazines you find at your doctor's offices are full of pasta recipes.

But while dry pasta is a better choice than Froot Loops, as the curves on these graphs make clear, the carbohydrates contained in pasta trickle into the blood stream for hours after you eat. In people with Type 2 who still have a significant amount of second phase insulin response left, the trickle might be slow enough that you won't see a pronounced spike, but all that glucose will have to be metabolized--and most of it will turn into triglycerides and eventually be stored as body fat.

The data in this study explain to me why there are such varying reports within the diabetes community about whether Dreamfields does what the company claims it does, with some saying it works for them, and others reporting that it causes prolonged high blood sugars. Obviously, the people for whom Dreamfields works are still secreting enough second phase insulin to cover the long slow tail it produces.

But if Dreamfields does work for you, this study stronlgy suggests you could get the same effect from eating $.99 store brand pasta as you could eating the much more expensive Dreamfields. Just cook the regular pasta for the 9 minutes that Dreamfields suggests. Cooking any pasta longer than that will makes it digest more quickly.

Two last things:

1. Only cooked dry pasta metabolizes slowly. Fresh pasta--the kind you buy in the freezer section or at some fancy italian restaurants--is made with regular flour, not the more semolina flour that contains resistant starch. Fresh pasta digests very quickly and you will see a much larger spike after eating it.

2. The label portion size for a serving of pasta is tiny. Measure out 2 dry ounces on a cooking scale and cook it and you'll see what I mean. The serving of pasta you get at a restaurant is anywhere from 3 to 6 label portions. Since that very small 2 ounce portion contains over 50 grams of carbohydrate, the restaurant servings are anywhere from 150 to 300 grams. And that's without the "low fat" high carbohydrate sauce dumped on top.

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