The Dreamfields Pasta Fraud

Dreamfields pasta is promoted as a low carb product. But it’s made from durum wheat and it tastes great. Actually, it looks, feels and tastes just like…  regular pasta.

Now, regular pasta is anything but low carb. It’s mostly starch, which turns into glucose in the gut and is absorbed as blood sugar. Exactly what low carbers try to avoid. Dreamfields pasta has 41 grams of carbs per serving. How can that be low carb?

Well, Dreamfields claim that their “patent-pending” (since 2004) recipe and manufacturing process protects the carb from being digested.

It sounds fantastic. But is it true? I decided to find out and the results were shocking.

A beautiful tale

Can you be a low carber and eat all the pasta you want? Can you have your (low carb) cake and eat it too?

It sounds too good to be true, and two questions pop up:

  • If their “patent-pending” manufacturing really made the starch indigestible, would that not affect the taste? (It’s great).
  • If the starch really became indigestible, should it not end up being digested by bacteria in the large intestine, causing massive flatulence? (It does not).

Now it’s time for answers.

The package

Here’s my package of Dreamfields pasta, bought in a “low carb” store.

Let’s take a closer look.

Big promises

Basically the idea is that the carbs will pass straight through your body:

Side

There you have it: 36 grams of non-fiber carbs per 56 gram serving. It adds up to about 80 percent energy from carbs. That’s about as high carb a food as you could find.

Of course – most of it is supposedly indigestible.

I tested the pasta myself, eating it and testing my blood sugar 21 times. We’ll get to the test shortly.

A good idea?

It may sound too good to be true. But even if it was true, consider if it really is a good idea for the future.

Should the food industry manufacture food that our bodies can’t absorb? Do we really need to chew food that doesn’t make us satiated, food that gives us no energy, food that isn’t real food?

Is it environmentally sound to grow wheat and then chemically modify it so that it loses its nutritional value, manufacture pasta, transport it, sell it, cook it and then sit down to eat it, all of that to create some extra poop?

(Not to mention all the gas it would result in)

That’s an interesting philosophical question. But let’s leave it and find out if Dreamfields pasta works.

Real low carb food

First some real low carb food to get some perspective. Here is a common meal in my home:

A steak, Béarnaise sauce and a pile of vegetables fried in butter. Possibly a glass of red wine. The result is long-lasting satiety and well-being.

A meal like this contains a few grams of carbs – perhaps five.

The result on my blood sugar? Hardly any at all. It usually stays at fasting levels, between 86 and 94. If you don’t eat anything that turns to sugar your blood sugar stays the same. Very logical.

The test

Now let’s test the Dreamfields pasta:

Here is one serving according to Dreamfields, 56 grams. It’s not a lot of food for someone who is 6’7” (me).

I had two servings:

These 112 grams of pasta contains 72 grams of starch and sugars according to the Nutrition Facts. But according to Dreamfields only 10 grams are absorbed.

After cooking

After boiling (according to instructions, exactly 9 minutes) it turned into a decent portion. About the amount I used to eat when I ate pasta.

I had the pasta without any other food, with a glass of water. It tasted fine, about the way pasta usually tastes.

The result

It didn’t start out too bad. My blood sugar did quickly rise to 108, but then it looked as if it was stabilizing. I was impressed, it didn’t look too bad.

But that was just the beginning. Then came a mountain of blood sugar. After two and a half hours the blood sugar was still as high as 131!

It turned into a long evening. I tested my blood sugar every 20 minutes and hoped that it would go down so I could have a real dinner. Weirdly enough I felt hungry at the same time as my blood sugar was high. Perhaps some other nutrient was missing in my blood giving me feelings of hunger. Protein? Fat?

I had no other food until the experiment was completed. After seven and a half hours (!) I gave up, even though the blood sugar was still a bit higher than normal. I ate some real food and went to bed.

Here are five different blood sugar curves to compare.

  • The green ones are big low carb dinners
  • The blue ones are “exceptions” with more carbs
  • The red is the fake low carb pasta

Verdict: Not low carb

The Dreamfields pasta contain slow carbs. Perhaps it’s OK to call it low glycemic index carbs. But it’s not low carb. It’s the opposite, it’s almost pure carbs. It’s absorbed slowly, but most (if not all) of the starch is absorbed.

There is no way only ten grams of carbs spiked my blood sugar for seven hours. I have eaten more than that with just minor effects (see above).

Dreamfields’ marketing claims are not true. Dreamfields are sabotaging the weight loss of low carbers just to sell more of their pasta.

Unless, perhaps, I’m a weird exception. Does it work for everybody else but not for me?

The real test

I did the test above last year, for my Swedish blog. I was convinced that Dreamfields pasta was a fraud.

This year Dreamfields pasta was tested more rigorously and the result was published in a trustworthy scientific journal called Diabetes Care:

The main authors of the article are Frank C. Nuttal, PhD, and Mary C. Gannon, PhD. They have previously studied the effects of low carb diets, so they were surprised by Dreamfields’ claims that pasta can be low carb.

After “numerous attempts” to have a look at the data that Dreamfields base their claims on (not allowed) the researchers decided to test it themselves.

Five participants ate the Dreamfields pasta (50g CHO) and tested their blood sugar. Then they ate the same amount of regular pasta and tested their blood sugar for comparison.

The result

Pretty shockingly the results on the blood sugar were just the same with Dreamfields’ and regular pasta. No difference!

The researchers were surprised so they recruited five new participants and did the test again. The result were the same once again – no perceptible difference.

The scientific article can be read for free here:

The Dreamfields Pasta Fraud

Dreamfields have been selling their fake low carb pasta since january 2004. It’s quite popular. There is no way to know how many people have failed to lose weight because of it, concluding that “low carb does not work”.

Low carb usually works just fine. But not if you eat a lot of pasta.

I’m willing to bet any amount of money that Dreamfields pasta is just the tip of the iceberg. Low carb in America has turned into special low carb pasta, low carb ice cream, low carb bread and low carb chocolate bars. And it’s mostly just marketing hype. There is nothing low carb about this junk food:

Real healthy low carb food is meat, fish, vegetables and butter, ideally from your local farmer. Dreamfields and companies like them have turned “Low Carb” into a joke, just to make money.

Obese people who trust them just gain weight. But diabetics spike their blood sugar and may end up amputating their feet and becoming blind.

There are a few possible explanations. Either Dreamfields and others like them are ignorant, evil or just plain greedy. Probably greed is the most likely explanation. Also, they probably think that consumers are stupid. But they are wrong about that.

The pasta fraud is revealed.

You can help your friends. If they eat fake low carb products and have trouble losing weight, chances are that’s why.

Spread the word. Let’s make low carb work again. Real low carb.

Continued…

Moore on Dreamfieldsgate – Interview with the Pasta President and even more evidence that Dreamfields pasta is just like any pasta: high carb.

Spreading the truth

Go to Dreamfields’ Facebook page and like the link to this post*. Let’s spread the truth to all of the 29 000 members. Dreamfields have gotten away with fooling overweight people and diabetics long enough.

*/ You have to like Dreamfields first, but then you can easily “unlike” it again: bottom left side of the page.

Of course you can spread this info via your Facebook, Twitter and blog too if you’d like. Feel free to copy any part of it. If you link to this post it will appear higher in the results when people search for “Dreamfields pasta” on Google. It’s already #14 or so. Spread the word so that fewer diabetics and others are hurt by these fraudulent marketing claims.

More

LCHF for beginners

Why Americans are obese

Why Americans are obese, part 2

Eating LCHF in America

How to cure type 2 diabetes

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263 Comments

  1. erdoke
    There is no miracle, so big piles of pasta will keep the fat on or even growing.
    However, you at least could reduce the load by serving some reduced carb variety such as Carba-Nada: http://www.aldentepasta.com/product-categories/carbanada/
    24 g carbs in 2 ounces vs. 42 in a regular blue Barilla fettuccine.
    A trick you can try is to add more vegetables to all meals and reduce serving size.
  2. deborahkrueger
    To dlobb65

    If your husband doesn't care about his health then buy the cheapest pasta possible. Dreamfields is no different than any other crappy pasta.

    http://www.low-carb-scams.com

  3. Louise D....Pa.
    My Daughter and I are Diabetics. I tested Dreamfields years ago against other regular pastas. My Doctor told me to test 2 hours after eating and if my BS was 140 or below, I ate a good meal. I tested my usual favorite brand and I went off the chart @ 2 hours. When I did the same test with dreamfields my BS was 138. I have been using Dreamfields ever since and we will still use it. I don't know why the company caved but I am a fan. Just wish they would add Rigatoni and soup pasta to their lists. I break up the Angel hair for soup and indulge in Macaroni salad with the elbows.I love their pasta....If you had fresh vegetables for a Primavera it lessens your glucose even more....Dosen't happen with the old pasta's....My opinion and I am sticking to it.
  4. Katie
    I am not diabetic, but will often turn to an Atkins-like diet plan when I want to lose weight in a short period of time. I use Ketosticks to monitor the effectiveness of my efforts, (I'm the instant gratification type unfortunately) and after many sessions, I've learned that I must keep my daily carb intake below 30 grams to stay in ketosis. Even though was losing weight, I was near madness after a few weeks without pasta. I decided to give the Dreamfields a try, and used the spaghetti, lasagna and penne. I made sure to check multiple times a day after eating the pasta, which I paired with a low carb marinara or Alfredo sauce, and not once did I come out of ketosis. Exact science? Nope. But it works for me every time. Bottom line here, everyone metabolizes differently. It isn't going work for everyone, but just because it didn't work for you, that's no guarantee others won't find success with it. Give it a try and judge for yourself.
  5. Tanya
    Apparently the hearing is on September 24th. If you want to file a claim to be reimbursed pending the outcome of the class action, go to http://www.Dreamfields Settlement.com by Sept 1.

    They posted a legal notice in Cooking Light this month.

    All in all, I lost 70 pounds not by counting carbs, but by limiting my intake of sugar and processed foods. (Which, is kind of the same.). After 12 years of trying every diet, changing my eating habits, by consuming a whole food diet, primarily of veg and fish, and staying organic as much as possible changed my life.

    And, if you want the occasional pasta, have it. On occasion. It's more fun to make it from scratch or eat out, so you know what is in what you're eating. :) (My 2 cents.)

  6. Sandy
    I was reading the ingredient list for Dream Field linguine recently and noticed vegetable fibers (inulin). I'm wondering if this is what helps with the slow release of sugar.
    Reply: #257
  7. erdoke
    It might do that, though the primary reason for consuming it is that inulin in fact is one of the best prebiotics, i.e. feed for gut bacteria.
  8. Moose
    I went for real food like the author, and I feel great!
    When people say they are diabetic and still eat carbs... then.. well, say no more. To each his own.
    Sugar is among the list of worst things ever for humans.
    Real food and fat is what our metabolism needs.
  9. Kristi
    I have been recently diagnosed with Type two Diabetes. In my disappointment with my diabetic status I decided it was time to loose weight and bring down my blood sugar levels. In making this possible I have been using the no card to low carb diet. In the course of two weeks I have lost twelve pounds simply by cutting out or moderately taking in carbs. One of my biggest carbohydrate weaknesses is pasta. When I learned about Dream Fields I was excited to learn such a product could exist. For my lunch I decided to have pasta with low sugar sauce. Prior to consumption of my pasta I took my blood sugar and discovered I was at 98. After 45 minutes of consuming my pasta my blood sugar jumped to 200. I tested my sugar an hour later from there and I was at 162. Then that evening when I had my dinner which was almond crusted chicken with green beans I waited an approximately 45 minutes to test my sugar and I was at 108. Conclusion from my own personal experience Dream Fields Pasta is like an other pasta consumed and is a carbohydrate that can spike your blood sugar.
  10. deborahkrueger
    To file your claim go to http://www.dreamfieldssettlement.com It needs to be filed by September 1, 2014 and it is super simple.

    Any extra money goes to the ADA (American Diabetic Association) and personally I hope they NEVER GET A PENNY of Dreamfields blood money.

  11. treeum
    Wow. So much disinformation on this. I am a "died in the wool" low-carber, and I, and my family, have ALL lost weight using Dreamfields. This product has worked for us and I have suggested DF to others who also have benefitted. All the complainers may want to take a look at how much booze they are drinking along with their Dreamfields... That will put weight on you, even if you do eat low carb. Alcohol has calories, and those calories are used before your body uses its fat stores. Keep that in mind. By the way, In case anyone's interested, I lost 53 pounds in 3 1/2 months going low-carb. And yes. Eating Dreamfields during the process. Now, this is not to say that you can eat all you want, like the seemingly 'less than genuine' writing of the author of this article suggests is implied with Dreamfields' claims. You cannot eat all you want. Low-carb substitutes are not meant to make it open season to gorge yourself on these products. They do instead offer the low-carb eater an opportunity to satisfy a part of their appetite, Taken this way, they are there to give a certain amount of satisfaction, while still staying in the low-carb world. That's all. Eat your substitutes in moderation, enjoy and don't get burned out on low-carb eating. That's the point. Now; was that so hard?
  12. Jo
    I will say that in reference to the comment about gas that the author of this article made - Dreamfields gives me the WORST gas of anything on this planet. Terrible, painful, foul gas like I've never experienced before. I actually found this article by Googling "gas from dreamfields pasta"! It doesn't jack my blood sugar levels up too much tho (type 2). Testing 2 hours after eating a big serving of Dreamfields linguine with whitle clam sauce and a few glasses of red wine, I am testing at 114. The gas, however, has run my dogs out of the room!
  13. Lydia Douglas
    I did same test on an organic rice pasta. I had 43% carbs. 15gr =1 carb serving minus your fiber gives total true count. So 15x2=30gr equals a 2 carb count. The serving for this dish would be closer to 3.carb count. I spiked the same although it sat better in the stomach...
    So PASTA no difference. It's a starch. and it releases extremely slowly. I was on the treadmill and burned the calories off also no difference. SO EAT WHATEVER PASTA YOU WANT! IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE IT"S A STARCH AND STARCH IS SUGAR! I even make my own but haven't tested. Just way it according your plan and what the pkg says. UNLESS IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR CARBOHYDRATE SERVING IS FOR THE DAY YOU COULD BE SCREWING YOURSELF UP. NEVER DOUBLE UP A PORTION SO STUPID!!!! My meat is 3oz and yes I weight it. My trygliceridies have never budged and dropped 2.5 points. My BMI started at 31and now 28.5 and lost 8 inches body fat.However I was put on Metaformin cause nothing else traditonally nothing was working. I have a Pintreest board called ALL ABOUT HEALTH..It' http://www.pinterest.com/lydiadoug
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