An active question on the blogosphere and elsewhere is whether Dreamfields pasta is truly low-carb. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt of Diet Doctor detailed his high blood glucose experience with it. Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low Carb had a similar experience, observing virtually no difference when compared to conventional pasta.
The Dreamfields people make the claim that “Dreamfields’ patent-pending recipe and manufacturing process protects all but 5 grams of the carbohydrates per serving from being digested and therefore lessens post-meal blood glucose rise as compared to traditional pasta.” They call the modified carbohydrates “protected” carbs.
In other words, they are making the claim that they’ve somehow modified the amylopectin A and amylose molecules in durum wheat flour to inhibit conversion to glucose.
I’d like to add something to the conversation: Dreamfields pasta is wheat. It is a graphic demonstration that, no matter how you cut it, press it, sauce it up, “protect” it, it’s all the same thing: wheat. (It reminds me of a bad girlfriend I had in my 20s: She’d put on makeup, a pretty dress, I’d take her out someplace nice . . . She was still an annoying person who whined about everything.)
Wheat is more than a carbohydrate. It is also a collection of over 1000 proteins, including gliadins, glutens, and glutenins. Gliadins, for instance, are degraded to polypeptide exorphins that underlie the addictive potential of wheat, as well as its withdrawal phenomenon on halting consumption. Gliadin-derived exorphins are also the triggers of auditory hallucinations and paranoid delusions in schizophrenia, as well as behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD and autism.
Wheat is a source of lectins that have the curious effect of “unlocking” the proteins of the intestinal lining, the oddly-named “zonulin” proteins, that protect you from ingested foreign molecules. Ingest wheat lectins and all manner of foreign molecules gain entry into your bloodstream. Cholera works by a similar mechanism. (How about a love story: Bread in the time of cholera?)
Glutens, of course, are responsible for triggering celiac disease, the devastating small intestinal disease that now afflicts 3 million Americans, although 2.7 million don’t even know it. Glutens are also responsible for neurologic conditions like cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, and dementia (“gluten encephalopathy”) and the skin condition, dermatitis herpetiformis.
Then there are the conditions for which the active wheat components have not been identified, including acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma (excepting “bakers’ asthma), rheumatoid arthritis, edema and fluid retention, and a long list of skin conditions from alopecia to gangrene.
My point: Yeah, Dreamfields pastas, from these instructive experiences, acts a lot like conventional durum wheat pasta. But, even if Dreamfields or somebody else perfects the low-carb aspect of it, it’s still wheat. Modern wheat is the genetically tarted-up version of Triticum aestivum, the product of genetic shenanigans from the 1960s and 1970s.
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