Food innovation: Dreamfields low-carb pasta
A forward-looking view of food would not simply settle for traditional methods, something exemplified by a new food I’ve just tried.
For the past eight months, I’ve been following Gary Taubes’s argument - that carbohydrate makes some people fat - to its logical conclusion by mostly avoiding carbohydrate. It seems to work quite well. I’ve lost 22 pounds without hunger, though I do miss foods like pasta and bread and sometimes finding a low-carb option is a bit of drag when convenience food is often built around cheap stodge.
I recently went back to Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution - I’m not following that particular diet, but good to have the book - and found mention of ‘low-carb pasta’. I assumed it would be dreadful, and I think most of the brands developed so far probably are. However, I got the chance to try Dreamfields spaghetti and it seems, well… okay. It pretty much tastes like regular pasta. It’s about four times the price of bog-standard supermarket pasta, unfortunately, but as a nostalgic treat that might be acceptable. While its pasta has as many carbohydrates as regular pasta, the company claims that most of the carbohydrate is bound up in such a way that it cannot be digested immediately. I wasn’t clear whether the carbohydrates are never digested or if digestion is delayed. Certainly, the glycaemic index for Dreamfields pasta is a lot lower than for regular pasta and that should help to avoid the kind of insulin spike that Taubes argues is responsible for weight gain.
We’ll see if my experience bears out the company’s claims. But I like the fact that companies are trying to rework widely enjoyed foods to produce health benefits, especially if it can be done well - that is, if it actually tastes good. Dreamfields doesn’t feel like a ‘substitute’ food in the way that many such products are poor imitations of the real thing. Now, if they do a bit of innovation about that price, then their product could be a nice cheap alternative to another plate of meat and/or cheese and salad!
See more at the Dreamfields website.
Update: 30 July 2011
I came across this page which appears to suggest that the claims made for Dreamfields - that it ‘locks up’ the carbohydrate in its pasta - aren’t borne out in reality. If that’s true, it would be a shame as it seemed like a good idea. Hey ho, back to the meat and salad…