Low-Carb Pasta? In Your Dreams …

One of the most common questions I receive in emails goes something like this:  I know you don’t normally live on fast food like you did for your documentary, so what do you actually eat?

The answer is that my diet is what I’d call “modified paleo”:  meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, nuts, a bit of low-sugar fruit, and a few dairy products.  But as with a lot of other low-carbers I know, my diet has evolved over time.

At first, I focused exclusively on keeping my carb intake down.  Anything labeled “low-carb” was acceptable, so I happily filled my refrigerator and pantry with low-carb versions of the high-carb foods I used to love … low-carb bagels, low-carb chips, low-carb bread, low-carb pastas, low-carb granola, low-carb ice cream, even low-carb candy bars.  I think that’s where a lot of us start.

But as I continued reading up on nutrition and health, I began asking myself if eating frankenfoods made from soy protein and other strange ingredients was really such a good idea.  Did I miss pasta that much?  Couldn’t I make it through the weekend without a bagel and cream cheese? Are nachos an essential food group once you’ve left college?

I eventually decided I could live without low-carb versions of high-carb foods and I’d probably be healthier without them.  That’s when I started shifting to more of a real-foods, modified paleo diet.  And over time, a strange and wonderful thing happened:  my tastes changed.  My “starch tooth” disappeared.  It no longer required discipline to say no thanks to pasta and bread, because they didn’t appeal to me anymore.

That’s why I never bothered trying Dreamfield’s pasta, which the manufacturer claims has only 5 net carbs per serving. Through the magic of “protected carbs,” most of the 41 carbs per serving supposedly slip by without causing a rise in blood sugar.  Frankly, even if that were true, I wouldn’t eat the stuff just because it’s made out of wheat.  But I also had my doubts about that “protected carbs” concept.

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt had similar doubts and tested Dreamfield’s pasta on himself.  He showed us the results during his excellent presentation on the low-carb cruise, and today he wrote about them on his English-language blog.  I’ll let you go there to read about his results, but I am going to borrow a graphic he posted.  What you see below are the results of a small clinical study comparing the average blood-sugar readings of people who ate Dreamfield’s pasta for one test, then regular pasta for another:

Whoop-tee-do … what a difference, eh?  That one-hour peak of around 150 mg/dl is all I need to know. By contrast, I had a big ol’ gyros salad with extra gyros meat today while out running errands, then tested my glucose when I got home.  My 60-minute post-meal reading stood at 95 mg/dl.  Give me the gyros salad any day.

Jimmy Moore gave the head honcho at Dreamfield’s a chance to reply to the recent study results.  I’ve posted Jimmy’s YouTube video of that interview below.  Jimmy will also be posting the interview, along with his own test results.

I’m not going to comment on the interview.  I think it speaks for itself.  My only comment is this:  if you’re switching to a low-carb diet, your goal should be to make it a low-carb real-foods diet.  Buying low-carb breads and pastas is just another attempt to have your cake and eat it too.  Eventually, you’ll need to wave goodbye to that cake and move on.

Addendum:  Jimmy Moore posted the results of his own test a couple of hours after I wrote this post.


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130 thoughts on “Low-Carb Pasta? In Your Dreams …

  1. Angel

    Bruno,

    I switched to low-carb 4 years ago, and I struggled with constant carb cravings for most of them. It really can take awhile to conquer the carb demon. I would suggest doing the best you can, and exercising some patience with yourself.

    I had to go gluten-free last year, which sucked at first, but I got used to it, and I’m okay with it now. I also cut sugar out of my diet a couple of months ago, and again – it sucked at first, but I got used to it. I still get sugar cravings, but they are very mild compared to what I used to suffer.

    What really helps as well is keeping yourself educated. Subscribe to blogs like this one that are always negative about empty carbs and sugar. The message will sink in after awhile and I think that will help with the mental aspect of handling cravings.

  2. dlm

    There is a no carb pasta called Shirataki. It is kind of slimy and slides down your throat very quickly.

    You may have lost your starch tooth. I still have cravings for sugar and starch. Don’t you think some people are more addicted (sugarholic)?

    Definitely. I think it’s mostly a matter of biochemistry.

  3. Kicking Carbs to the Curb

    I do use the Carba-nada noodles every once in a while. 1/2 the carbs of regular pasta. I don’t fool myself though that I’m not getting a decent carb load out of them and I have to budget for it.

    But they are great for those days when I need to make a dinner, but nothing is ready to cook.

    Other than that, the only time I eat refined carbs is for a planned indulgence or after the stomach flu. For some reason, toast and Sprite is the only thing my stomach will allow.

    My taste is definitely evolving, but I haven’t totally destroyed the carb love yet.

    M

  4. HW

    I ended up going cold turkey with breads, pasta, etc. I would get very overwhelmed and frustrated at the grocery store when nearly everything I picked up had added sugar or wheat. So I said “screw it” and started focusing only on whole foods– the produce, meat, and dairy aisles. I admit, I allow myself to have a treat every once in a while (like a slice of pizza, glass of wine, or serving of rice– I love sushi rolls, for instance), but then again I honestly don’t really crave carbs or sweets. So I don’t feel deprived. It took about 2 weeks to get used to no bread (mostly because I had no idea what to eat for lunch besides sandwiches). I don’t miss pasta much. But things like spaghetti squash, shirataki, and kelp noodles make good substitutes for certain dishes. Especially when you are cooking for other people.

  5. Spacewoman

    I love it when a fraud gets exposed!!!

    I was lucky that I found low-carb after I had already been converted to a real foods diet (from watching Food, Inc., reading Real Food and finding the WAPF), so I skipped the franken-low-carb-food stage and went straight to meats, fish, full-fat dairy, veggies and berries, and I haven’t looked back.

    As for spaghetti, johnmc echoes my sentiments exactly, it gets in the way of the MEAT. Give me the meatballs and red sauce with some fresh parmigiano-reggiano on top and I’m a happy camper!

  6. Deborah M

    Pasta was actually my favourite food before I went low-carb – I could eat it every day. I don’t live in America, so only get dreamfields when someone brings some over for me, but even then, it tends to just stay in my pantry because I don’t really trust it. Never measured my response though. Now that I’ve seen this, though, I’ll stay away for sure. If I want to have pasta once in a blue moon I’ll just pay for the regular stuff – or use pasta made from brown rice, which has got to be healthier even if it’s high carb. That’s what I use for my skinny husband and son occasionally.

    I recently bought a World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer. It makes zucchini into a perfect spaghetti shape and it’s really easy to use and clean. So far I’ve used it to make zucchini spaghetti with pesto, with aglio olio, with mushroom and cream sauce, and with spicy tomato sauce. It’s fantastic.

    I’ve got to start looking for one of those slicers. We use spaghetti squash, but the zucchini sounds good.

  7. Bullinachinashop

    Going low carb by eating low-carb carbs is not only the wrong way, it’s just gross. Much better to concentrate on real food and then enjoy a carb when you want it.

    If I decide to grill burgers for supper (real burgers, not the frozen shingles) I am going to have one with a bun. And a good bun at that. That way when I eat it, I don’t feel disappointed; I can then move on by having the next one without a bun feeling satisfied that I tasted what I wanted to taste, not some gluten-free hippie crap.

  8. Justin B

    I have tried the tofu shirataki recently, and after a few weeks, it started making me queasy just thinking about it. I think its the slightly slimy texture that occurs after you wash it off. It was kind of like trying to eat shrimp right after washing it. It tastes gooey and weird. Maybe I wasn’t good enough at drying it. Who knows. Either way, I don’t even really crave pasta anymore. I was on a “low carb with one cheat meal a week” diet for 7 years, which worked fairly well, but with all the recent discoveries (and thanks to your documentary), there’s no more cheat meal. I don’t even want to risk the chance that my cheat meals ended up giving me cancer or heart disease, plus, I’m slimming down ever so slightly after giving up the cheat meal.

  9. Chareva

    I like Alana’s cheesecake recipe. Chunk of cream cheese. Sprinkle with Truvia. Eat.

  10. Mike

    Hi Tom! I just recieved my copy of Fat Head in the mail (very quick). Great job on the documentary. I’m going to help spread the word… my wife isn’t yet conviniced. However I was wondering if whole wheat pasta causes the same spike in blood sugar as regular pasta and apparently Dreamfields pasta?

    My guess would be that it does. If you want to know for sure, you can pick up a cheap glucose meter and check for yourself. It’s a good idea to know your personal reaction to various foods anyway.

  11. Glenn

    @ Bruno; People who use crack really enjoy and like that too. Doesn’t make it okay to do it.

    I couldn’t finish the interview. The sound of that cat smacking and clearing his throat into the mic had me tapping out in the first 3 minutes. What I did hear was him describe a list of chemicals the added or removed from their pasta to make it taste better and to avoid the green apple skitters it gave people.

    Chemist trying to build “food” just doesn’t do it for me.

  12. Andrés

    You MUST stop promoting cheese: low-carb/paleo movement is not going to win the battle if we keep allowing free thinking and personal choices at the barracks. We can beat the vegan clearly in this aspect, since they keep praising some researchers that commit slaughter on those nice little mice (I don’t buy the argument that they are volunteers), such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and killing mosquitos on summer. We can construct a real and rigid self-consistent ideology. You know, if then anybody fails on improving their health will be not doubt their fault, not a faulty dangerously too fuzzy set of instructions.

    I’ll try to become more rigid. It’s for the cause.

  13. Bruno

    My wife was diagnosed withmetabolic syndrome and slowly gained weight over years even though she was never a big eater. (she was super sedentary, however). On her (unconventional) doctor’s advice she has lost 56 lbs in about 3 months and is down to her cheerleading weight by doing 2 week intervals of 20g or less carbs per day.

    I did it with her so I’ve never gone more than 2 weeks low carb. I can say that by day 14 I’m just about to lose it. But that carb level is extreme I admit, so going to moderate carb levels is probably a better long term solution for me.

    I’ve gotta go find that cheesecake receipe, now.

    Plenty of those recipes out there. You may find if you raise your carb limit to 50 or 60, you still derive the benefits without feeling deprived.

  14. Firebird

    I used the Shiritaki noodles, too. I was disappointed in them. Not filling even though it’s glucomannan which was used in the 80s as a diet supplement. Take a glucomannan pill and it was suppose to fill the stomach and decrease appetite. I also did not like the texture. I especially did not like THE PRICE!

  15. Brooke

    I’m a former pasta addict. I used to look forward to cooking “healthy” whole-grain pasta meals at least twice a week…UNTIL I gave up most carbs a few weeks ago. Cold turkey. I no longer crave carbs. I still make “pasta” dishes, however my “pasta” is now ZUCHINI noodles which I prepare using my mandoline slicer. Maybe 5g of carbs per serving as opposed to over 40 and tastes just as satisfying as the “real thing”, really, MORE satisfying knowing that it’s actually GOOD for me! Lost 3lbs in two weeks. Probably just by giving up that “healthy whole grain” pasta!
    As far as DREAMfields”…the name couldn’t be more appropriate….

    If it’s true that grains contain something akin to opiates, it would make sense that after getting away from them for awhile, the craving would go away. We go through withdrawal, then it’s over.

  16. Jon

    I just was in a conversation between two women about how to tackle weightloss. One woman was trying to tell another the best thing to do about it.

    Woman A: Well, I usually take vitamin D, a multivitamin, and all that stuff, but sometimes the weight won’t come off. I don’t even eat many white breads or pastas. My only problem is alcohol and sweets.
    Woman B: Yeah, and I still eat wheat sometimes.
    Me: Yeah, it’s really the sugar that is the problem.
    Woman A: Well I eat wheat too. I will eat whole grains though because it digests slower and you need a healthy balance.
    (I interject): But even whole grain or wheat turns into sugar.
    Woman A: But people think sugar is really bad, and it’s really not that bad at all.

    And I just smile as she walks away, with me wanting to pull my hair out…

    I’d say DO NOT ENGAGE is the best advice in that situation.

  17. Auntie M

    I think the Dreamfields guy sounded ready to have a panic attack. Jimmy Moore is terrifying!

    There are two boxes of Dreamfields on my counter. One is open, but I haven’t had any in a couple of months. The other one is going straight to the church food bank, though I hate to feed them junk. I’ve used it before, but these days it just doesn’t taste right to eat pasta at all. I need to remember to send my husband out for spaghetti squash.

    Jimmy made a good point in his post, though: try the blood sugar test for yourself if you absolutely must have pasta. That’s what separates you guys from the “diet gurus”; you encourage thinking and experimentation, not blind obedience.

    I’d extend that advice to include a lot of foods. Test for yourself. Some supposedly low-glycemic foods may surprise you.

  18. Anne Robertson

    I never liked much in the way of carbs, even as a kid. I only started eating pasta and potatoes because I thought they were supposed to be good for me. I gave them all up with great relief and feel much better for it. Steamed shredded cabbage makes a good vehicle for pasta sauces, meaty ones, of course! And it’s always been easier for me to cook real food since, as a blind person, all cans and boxes look the same to me and I can’t read the instructions without jumping through hoops.

  19. bw

    I’ve already got a plan for sweettooth… if it comes up (hasn’t yet) wife and I will bake 2 mini apple pies in small ramekins.. I figure we make the crust and use TONS of butter to help dilute the flour in it (which of course makes the crust super tasty and flakey…)… and then granny smith apples….unsweetened….. and no top crust….

    Figure that shouldn’t be ‘too’ bad carb wise….

  20. Josh Goguen

    I can’t blame people for buying into this. In the world of iPods and Super Hadron Colliders, low-carb pasta doesn’t sound impossible. Then again, the more science tinkers with food, the more I think I’d be better off if I ate the iPod.

    What’s that my Grandpa used to say? Oh yeah, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Of course he never clarified it “It probably is” means it’s true or not. I think when I pass it on to my kids, I’ll say “If it sounds too good to be true, it’s bologna.”

  21. Lisa

    I find carbs are like what alcohol must be to an alcoholic.
    When I have “a bite”, the cravings come back and i don’t want to go through withdraw again. If I have a substitute I miss the real deal. If I don’t have the substitute, I don’t miss ANY of it.
    I find life without carb subs or a little bit of carbs (as treats or cheats) much easier (no tummy aches, no feeling deprived).
    L

    I think for some people, that’s true. Even a low-carb bread or pasta could trigger the craving for more starches.

  22. Ricardo

    So sugar and Fructose are different? Though i imagine they both do the same things

    Table sugar is around 50% glucose, 50% fructose. HFCS is more like 45% glucose, 55% fructose. Fructose is metabolized in the liver, which is why too much of it can lead to fatty liver.

  23. Lynnanne

    I had to force myself to NOT ENGAGE the other day at work. After a company-sponsored mandatory lecture from a nutritionist on how carbs are a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle, the company provided a Free Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast (if you wanted something “unhealthy,” like bacon and eggs, you had to pay for it). I walked past a very large woman grimacing into a heaping bowl of oatmeal. She sighed and said to her friend, “I know it’s good for me, but I had to put four spoonfuls of brown sugar on it so that I could make myself eat it.” Poor thing probably fell asleep at her desk after her “healthy” meal.

    OMG … if only someone could’ve had her test her glucose an hour later.

  24. Milton

    Life is about compromise, and diet is no different. While I have not had cravings for the foods I have given up (particularly sugary/salty snacks) I know that I am missing out on the flavors and textures that I enjoyed for a long time. But the upshot is that I feel a lot better, not just healthier but more energetic, and I sleep much MUCH better these days. And the foods I do eat are also very tasty and fulfilling, and are foods that I always enjoyed. The positives outweigh the negatives by so much that I don’t regret making the changes I’ve made.

    I think more people need to notice that you often promote the idea that we should figure out our own diet– the one that works best for us. The best thing about the sites that promote better eating is that most of them (like yours) give us useful information and encourage us to figure out our own diet. I think that when we do it this way, we are more likely to (1)find a diet that is ideal for us and (2)stick with it instead of dropping it once we reach a goal. Figuring out my own diet is also a win-win, where the positives far outweigh any negatives.

  25. Angel

    Bruno,

    I switched to low-carb 4 years ago, and I struggled with constant carb cravings for most of them. It really can take awhile to conquer the carb demon. I would suggest doing the best you can, and exercising some patience with yourself.

    I had to go gluten-free last year, which sucked at first, but I got used to it, and I’m okay with it now. I also cut sugar out of my diet a couple of months ago, and again – it sucked at first, but I got used to it. I still get sugar cravings, but they are very mild compared to what I used to suffer.

    What really helps as well is keeping yourself educated. Subscribe to blogs like this one that are always negative about empty carbs and sugar. The message will sink in after awhile and I think that will help with the mental aspect of handling cravings.

  26. dlm

    There is a no carb pasta called Shirataki. It is kind of slimy and slides down your throat very quickly.

    You may have lost your starch tooth. I still have cravings for sugar and starch. Don’t you think some people are more addicted (sugarholic)?

    Definitely. I think it’s mostly a matter of biochemistry.

  27. Kicking Carbs to the Curb

    I do use the Carba-nada noodles every once in a while. 1/2 the carbs of regular pasta. I don’t fool myself though that I’m not getting a decent carb load out of them and I have to budget for it.

    But they are great for those days when I need to make a dinner, but nothing is ready to cook.

    Other than that, the only time I eat refined carbs is for a planned indulgence or after the stomach flu. For some reason, toast and Sprite is the only thing my stomach will allow.

    My taste is definitely evolving, but I haven’t totally destroyed the carb love yet.

    M

  28. Sue

    After 8 years low carb, I have gone through several changes in what’s typically on my plate. I actually cut rice, potato and pasta without a backward glance. I still enjoy what used to go over them, but by themselves—yuck!
    As far as desserts, I never did the substitutions, but have learned to enjoy alternatives, all made with perfectly good low carb, gluten free real food, including eggs, nuts and heavy cream. Think custard, nut flour cakes, chiffons, berry crisp with nutty toppings…. I cut the sweetener drastically, using just a splash of either real sugar, or more often brown sugar splenda. My latest best recipe—google Orange Almond Cake (gluten free). I defy anyone to feel deprived!

  29. Brooke

    As per my previous post re giving up carbs “cold turkey”…
    should have written, “giving up carbs FOR cold turkey”…
    🙂

    Now you’re talking.

  30. HW

    I ended up going cold turkey with breads, pasta, etc. I would get very overwhelmed and frustrated at the grocery store when nearly everything I picked up had added sugar or wheat. So I said “screw it” and started focusing only on whole foods– the produce, meat, and dairy aisles. I admit, I allow myself to have a treat every once in a while (like a slice of pizza, glass of wine, or serving of rice– I love sushi rolls, for instance), but then again I honestly don’t really crave carbs or sweets. So I don’t feel deprived. It took about 2 weeks to get used to no bread (mostly because I had no idea what to eat for lunch besides sandwiches). I don’t miss pasta much. But things like spaghetti squash, shirataki, and kelp noodles make good substitutes for certain dishes. Especially when you are cooking for other people.

  31. Spacewoman

    I love it when a fraud gets exposed!!!

    I was lucky that I found low-carb after I had already been converted to a real foods diet (from watching Food, Inc., reading Real Food and finding the WAPF), so I skipped the franken-low-carb-food stage and went straight to meats, fish, full-fat dairy, veggies and berries, and I haven’t looked back.

    As for spaghetti, johnmc echoes my sentiments exactly, it gets in the way of the MEAT. Give me the meatballs and red sauce with some fresh parmigiano-reggiano on top and I’m a happy camper!

  32. Deborah M

    Pasta was actually my favourite food before I went low-carb – I could eat it every day. I don’t live in America, so only get dreamfields when someone brings some over for me, but even then, it tends to just stay in my pantry because I don’t really trust it. Never measured my response though. Now that I’ve seen this, though, I’ll stay away for sure. If I want to have pasta once in a blue moon I’ll just pay for the regular stuff – or use pasta made from brown rice, which has got to be healthier even if it’s high carb. That’s what I use for my skinny husband and son occasionally.

    I recently bought a World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer. It makes zucchini into a perfect spaghetti shape and it’s really easy to use and clean. So far I’ve used it to make zucchini spaghetti with pesto, with aglio olio, with mushroom and cream sauce, and with spicy tomato sauce. It’s fantastic.

    I’ve got to start looking for one of those slicers. We use spaghetti squash, but the zucchini sounds good.

  33. Dana Carpender

    Bruno said: Did not your own documentary show that one can still eat SOME of these foods and lose weight and see blood test results “improve”?

    Totally depends on the individual. As has been mentioned, they’re addictive for many. Indeed, my reader email tells me that for many who had successfully lost weight on low carb, the beginning of the end was a “Oh, just this once, it’s a holiday/my vacation/a wedding/my birthday” indulgence. For anyone who has a history of binging on carbs (really the only foods people binge on,) it’s playing with fire.

    And I like tofu shirataki fine, especially the fettuccini width. I do find that draining them, then microwaving them on high for a minute or two, draining again, then repeating the process, helps get excess water out of them. I like ’em with butter and cheese, spaghetti sauce, in tuna noodle casserole, chicken noodle soup, you name it. The tradition shirataki — the ones made only from konjac fiber — I only like in Asian style dishes. Make good sesame noodles or pho, though.

  34. Bullinachinashop

    Going low carb by eating low-carb carbs is not only the wrong way, it’s just gross. Much better to concentrate on real food and then enjoy a carb when you want it.

    If I decide to grill burgers for supper (real burgers, not the frozen shingles) I am going to have one with a bun. And a good bun at that. That way when I eat it, I don’t feel disappointed; I can then move on by having the next one without a bun feeling satisfied that I tasted what I wanted to taste, not some gluten-free hippie crap.

  35. Marbry

    I say DO ENGAGE, but I’m extremely stubborn. 😉

    I LOVE carbs. I can eat a bowl of rice, a loaf of bread, or a bowl of oatmeal plain and love it. But I have never liked things that were very sweet. Even as a kid I would scrape all the icing off a piece of cake and just eat the cake.

    I still crave bread, pasta or pastry, but when I do eat very much, the difference in the way I feel is VERY pronounced. I can say “Oh, so that’s why I pass out and feel like crap.” Although as you mentioned above, I’ve found I can eat very moderate amounts without any ill effects.

    I will say as a suggestion that the Mezzetta (at least the flavors I’ve tried) brand pasta sauce seems to be the only mainstream one I’ve seen in the grocery that doesn’t have added sugar. I also like their garlic stuffed olives, but they’re pricy.

    The Dreamfields exec was doing a pretty good job of talking about anything except what was actually being brought up in the interview. He was using the “agree and distract” tactic.

    Yeah, he had some impressive dance moves. I say put him on Dancing With The Stars … with Jimmy on the panel, of course.

  36. Justin B

    I have tried the tofu shirataki recently, and after a few weeks, it started making me queasy just thinking about it. I think its the slightly slimy texture that occurs after you wash it off. It was kind of like trying to eat shrimp right after washing it. It tastes gooey and weird. Maybe I wasn’t good enough at drying it. Who knows. Either way, I don’t even really crave pasta anymore. I was on a “low carb with one cheat meal a week” diet for 7 years, which worked fairly well, but with all the recent discoveries (and thanks to your documentary), there’s no more cheat meal. I don’t even want to risk the chance that my cheat meals ended up giving me cancer or heart disease, plus, I’m slimming down ever so slightly after giving up the cheat meal.

  37. Chareva

    I like Alana’s cheesecake recipe. Chunk of cream cheese. Sprinkle with Truvia. Eat.

  38. Mike

    Hi Tom! I just recieved my copy of Fat Head in the mail (very quick). Great job on the documentary. I’m going to help spread the word… my wife isn’t yet conviniced. However I was wondering if whole wheat pasta causes the same spike in blood sugar as regular pasta and apparently Dreamfields pasta?

    My guess would be that it does. If you want to know for sure, you can pick up a cheap glucose meter and check for yourself. It’s a good idea to know your personal reaction to various foods anyway.

  39. Glenn

    @ Bruno; People who use crack really enjoy and like that too. Doesn’t make it okay to do it.

    I couldn’t finish the interview. The sound of that cat smacking and clearing his throat into the mic had me tapping out in the first 3 minutes. What I did hear was him describe a list of chemicals the added or removed from their pasta to make it taste better and to avoid the green apple skitters it gave people.

    Chemist trying to build “food” just doesn’t do it for me.

  40. Bruno

    My wife was diagnosed withmetabolic syndrome and slowly gained weight over years even though she was never a big eater. (she was super sedentary, however). On her (unconventional) doctor’s advice she has lost 56 lbs in about 3 months and is down to her cheerleading weight by doing 2 week intervals of 20g or less carbs per day.

    I did it with her so I’ve never gone more than 2 weeks low carb. I can say that by day 14 I’m just about to lose it. But that carb level is extreme I admit, so going to moderate carb levels is probably a better long term solution for me.

    I’ve gotta go find that cheesecake receipe, now.

    Plenty of those recipes out there. You may find if you raise your carb limit to 50 or 60, you still derive the benefits without feeling deprived.

  41. Firebird

    I used the Shiritaki noodles, too. I was disappointed in them. Not filling even though it’s glucomannan which was used in the 80s as a diet supplement. Take a glucomannan pill and it was suppose to fill the stomach and decrease appetite. I also did not like the texture. I especially did not like THE PRICE!

  42. Brooke

    I’m a former pasta addict. I used to look forward to cooking “healthy” whole-grain pasta meals at least twice a week…UNTIL I gave up most carbs a few weeks ago. Cold turkey. I no longer crave carbs. I still make “pasta” dishes, however my “pasta” is now ZUCHINI noodles which I prepare using my mandoline slicer. Maybe 5g of carbs per serving as opposed to over 40 and tastes just as satisfying as the “real thing”, really, MORE satisfying knowing that it’s actually GOOD for me! Lost 3lbs in two weeks. Probably just by giving up that “healthy whole grain” pasta!
    As far as DREAMfields”…the name couldn’t be more appropriate….

    If it’s true that grains contain something akin to opiates, it would make sense that after getting away from them for awhile, the craving would go away. We go through withdrawal, then it’s over.

  43. Jon

    I just was in a conversation between two women about how to tackle weightloss. One woman was trying to tell another the best thing to do about it.

    Woman A: Well, I usually take vitamin D, a multivitamin, and all that stuff, but sometimes the weight won’t come off. I don’t even eat many white breads or pastas. My only problem is alcohol and sweets.
    Woman B: Yeah, and I still eat wheat sometimes.
    Me: Yeah, it’s really the sugar that is the problem.
    Woman A: Well I eat wheat too. I will eat whole grains though because it digests slower and you need a healthy balance.
    (I interject): But even whole grain or wheat turns into sugar.
    Woman A: But people think sugar is really bad, and it’s really not that bad at all.

    And I just smile as she walks away, with me wanting to pull my hair out…

    I’d say DO NOT ENGAGE is the best advice in that situation.

  44. Brian Scott

    The “real food” meme, I think, is generally a more robust heuristic than low-carb, though it can fall short on its own. Since I subscribe to the Kurt Harris’ “neolithic agents of disease” idea and that avoiding wheat, temperate vegetable oils and excess sugar is an appropriate approach to healthy eating, I couldn’t endorse eating a genuine real food french baguette, for instance, or an ice cold glass of sugar sweetened lemonade more often than every once in a while, or eating a disproportionate amount of fruit.

    The paleo-style diet meme addresses those factors somewhat, but is beleaguered by its own misconceptions like the mythologies that can develop around ideas of how paleolithic people eat (e.g. the idea that they ate little saturated fat because pre-agricultural animals would have been very lean, even though they would have also eaten things like marrow and brain which are high in saturated fat), not to mention the fact there is no one true “paleo” diet. It also excludes some things that are for the most part not noxious to humans but are perfectly nutritious (butter ain’t paleo).

    That’s why I’m happy to go with what I called “modified paleo.” Real foods, hold the grains and vegetable oils, limit the tubers. The butter, cream and cheese aren’t causing me any problems.

  45. Lynnanne

    I had to force myself to NOT ENGAGE the other day at work. After a company-sponsored mandatory lecture from a nutritionist on how carbs are a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle, the company provided a Free Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast (if you wanted something “unhealthy,” like bacon and eggs, you had to pay for it). I walked past a very large woman grimacing into a heaping bowl of oatmeal. She sighed and said to her friend, “I know it’s good for me, but I had to put four spoonfuls of brown sugar on it so that I could make myself eat it.” Poor thing probably fell asleep at her desk after her “healthy” meal.

    OMG … if only someone could’ve had her test her glucose an hour later.

  46. cancerclasses

    In reply to @dlm and anyone else suffering from carb cravings, there’s one thing that is still not commonly known & that you probably WON’T hear from your primary care physicians, unless they are really good, caring, enlightened & educated.

    Chronic carb cravings can be a symptom of a systemic fungal infection or cancer, since all cancers & systemic fungi produce energy by means of the glycolysis process, the fermentation of sugars from carbohydrates. Whereas normal, properly functioning tissue cells create energy by means of oxidative phosphorylation, the metabolization of fats, proteins & other nutrients with oxygen, cancers and systemic fungus & yeasts require lots of sugars from carbohydrates in order to proliferate & metastasize. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxidative_phosphorylation

    Another not widely known fact is that the worlds’ grain supplies, and corn in particular, are commonly contaminated with fungus & mycotoxins. Doug Kaufmann at knowthecause.com is one of the few people I know of educating the public about the role that grains & fungus play in human diseases and what to do about it. Doug often cites the work of Dr. A.V. Costantini, retired head of the World Health Organization and epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Etzel, MD, PhD. both of whom have written extensively about the fungi & mycotoxins we ingest from our food supplies.

    Fungi & mycotoxins are not just in the grain supply, Dr. Costantini and others have found that smoked and aged meats are often contaminated with mycotoxins & may be a contributing cause of MS. http://goo.gl/fL4Qm

    Anyone fighting carb cravings that won’t go away would be wise to consider the possibility of an existing fungal or other related condition and search for & consult with a physician that specializes in fungal conditions & treatment.

    Good information, thanks.

  47. Sue

    After 8 years low carb, I have gone through several changes in what’s typically on my plate. I actually cut rice, potato and pasta without a backward glance. I still enjoy what used to go over them, but by themselves—yuck!
    As far as desserts, I never did the substitutions, but have learned to enjoy alternatives, all made with perfectly good low carb, gluten free real food, including eggs, nuts and heavy cream. Think custard, nut flour cakes, chiffons, berry crisp with nutty toppings…. I cut the sweetener drastically, using just a splash of either real sugar, or more often brown sugar splenda. My latest best recipe—google Orange Almond Cake (gluten free). I defy anyone to feel deprived!

  48. Brooke

    As per my previous post re giving up carbs “cold turkey”…
    should have written, “giving up carbs FOR cold turkey”…
    🙂

    Now you’re talking.

  49. Dana Carpender

    Bruno said: Did not your own documentary show that one can still eat SOME of these foods and lose weight and see blood test results “improve”?

    Totally depends on the individual. As has been mentioned, they’re addictive for many. Indeed, my reader email tells me that for many who had successfully lost weight on low carb, the beginning of the end was a “Oh, just this once, it’s a holiday/my vacation/a wedding/my birthday” indulgence. For anyone who has a history of binging on carbs (really the only foods people binge on,) it’s playing with fire.

    And I like tofu shirataki fine, especially the fettuccini width. I do find that draining them, then microwaving them on high for a minute or two, draining again, then repeating the process, helps get excess water out of them. I like ’em with butter and cheese, spaghetti sauce, in tuna noodle casserole, chicken noodle soup, you name it. The tradition shirataki — the ones made only from konjac fiber — I only like in Asian style dishes. Make good sesame noodles or pho, though.

  50. Marbry

    I say DO ENGAGE, but I’m extremely stubborn. 😉

    I LOVE carbs. I can eat a bowl of rice, a loaf of bread, or a bowl of oatmeal plain and love it. But I have never liked things that were very sweet. Even as a kid I would scrape all the icing off a piece of cake and just eat the cake.

    I still crave bread, pasta or pastry, but when I do eat very much, the difference in the way I feel is VERY pronounced. I can say “Oh, so that’s why I pass out and feel like crap.” Although as you mentioned above, I’ve found I can eat very moderate amounts without any ill effects.

    I will say as a suggestion that the Mezzetta (at least the flavors I’ve tried) brand pasta sauce seems to be the only mainstream one I’ve seen in the grocery that doesn’t have added sugar. I also like their garlic stuffed olives, but they’re pricy.

    The Dreamfields exec was doing a pretty good job of talking about anything except what was actually being brought up in the interview. He was using the “agree and distract” tactic.

    Yeah, he had some impressive dance moves. I say put him on Dancing With The Stars … with Jimmy on the panel, of course.

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