Net or Digestible Carbs?

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Densible

Joined: Oct 07
Posts: 426

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Posted: 10 Mar 2008, 13:19
I am trying to lower my intake of carbs. I love pasta-and found Dreamfields recommended as a low carb product. The label says "5g digestible carbs" and the nutrition label lists 42 g of carbs per serving. What should I count?

I heard that the formula for calculating net carbs (is this the same as digestible carbs?) is to subtract the fibre content from the carbs? If that is true, how does Dreamfield's claim that their product is only 5 g of carbs per serving? The fibre content is only about 5g....

As you can see I am BOTH confused and somewhat dubious about this concept...
sararay

Joined: Sep 07
Posts: 1,688

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Posted: 10 Mar 2008, 14:25
I think I would go by the 5g digestible carbs and stick to one serving. See how it makes you feel. If you feel sluggish or start craving carbs the next day, then don't eat it.

You are right about the formula for estimating net carbs, but there are other types of carbs that are not "fiber" per-se, but don't affect blood sugar. Sugar alcohols are one, but I think the following clears it up as far as the Dreamfields brand. This is from their website:

Protected carbohydrates or "resistant starch": These are carbohydrates that resist being digested particularly in the small intestine. When they cannot be digested in the small intestine, they pass to the colon where they perform as dietary fiber. They may occur naturally, be created by chemically modifying carbohydrates prior to ingestion or achieve resistance through properly formulated foods being processed by the body. Resistant starches occur naturally at various levels in many foods, like cooked and cooled potatoes, unmilled grains, seeds, legumes, bananas, and high amylase starches. Most resistant starches are produced by concentrating naturally resistant starches and/or by chemically modifying carbohydrates in order to produce a starch with low digestibility. Dreamfields creates protected carbohydrates without chemical modification by utilizing combinations of standard food ingredients to "protect" digestible carbohydrates from being broken down by digestive enzymes. Carbohydrates resistant to digestion have been shown in scientific study to help control blood glucose, blood cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels, normalize insulin levels, and help improve the health of the colon lining, thus reducing the potential for ulcers and inflammatory diseases of the large intestine.

Xanthan gum: is a food gum with dietary fiber properties that was developed to perform as a thickening agent for pourable salad dressings, sauces and gravies, pastry fillings, puddings, dairy products, and fruit juices. Xanthan gum is made using a fermentation process that employs the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. This organism utilizes sugars, like corn glucose to produce the gum. It is not digested by the body, but reaches the colon intact where it is used for food by resident microflora that produce products of the fermentation process that help reduce cholesterol and smooth fluctuations in blood glucose, and help maintain the health of the large intestine (colon). Xanthan gum is a widely used and approved food ingredient.

Love the food that loves you back.

Take it one day at a time!
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JanL

Joined: Oct 06
Posts: 156

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Posted: 10 Mar 2008, 14:53
Also, cooked pasta loses an average of 20% of whatever carb it has in its dry state (it is that starch in the water you cook it in). So even for regular pasta, if a serving is 40g carb, you'll end up with around 32g carb.

I came up with the 20% figure poking around at the USDA food database.
sararay

Joined: Sep 07
Posts: 1,688

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Posted: 10 Mar 2008, 15:26
Most low carb diets do recommend you cook pasta "al dente" for less digestible carbs.

Love the food that loves you back.

Take it one day at a time!
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JanL

Joined: Oct 06
Posts: 156

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Posted: 10 Mar 2008, 15:48
Yes, and the best pasta would be whole grain durum wheat, cause the durum wheat, especially when cooked al dente, has a lower glycemic rate.

If you eat 1/2 the pasta serving, and fill the other half of your plate with a grilled steak or chicken fillet and veggies, it is not a very carby meal, the carbs in the pasta will add up 14-15g net carbs (after you discount the ones in the water, and the fiber ones). 4 new potatoes have more carb than that, at around 22g, and they certainly don't look as big as half of a large plate of pasta does.

Also, if you cook your rice like you cook pasta, discarding the water, you can save about 20% of the carb too.
Densible

Joined: Oct 07
Posts: 426

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Posted: 10 Mar 2008, 16:17
Thank you all! You have clarified this for me and while my eyes glaze over with too much science, I get the general idea.

I had heard about resistant starch and that it it is only chemically resistant at room temperature or cold. Something about the bonds changing at higher temps. For instance, if one must have potatoes, have them cold in a salad, not as I did last night -baked. I think there are 64 g of carbs in a large baked potato! My microbiologist friend told me just now that it is like eating 16 spoons of sugar!

So out with potatoes, in with pasta (once a week to keep me sane). I am half Sicilian so it is always al dente.

Have a great day!

sararay

Joined: Sep 07
Posts: 1,688

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Posted: 10 Mar 2008, 17:38
I am half Tuscan! I was born in Firenze.

Once I get on maintenance of my plan I will probably do a serving of brown rice pasta once in a while. (I am allergic to wheat). My Italian mother does low carb most of the week, but has a serving of pasta once a week to keep herself from bingeing the rest of the week.

Love the food that loves you back.

Take it one day at a time!
-----------------------------------------
JanL

Joined: Oct 06
Posts: 156

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Posted: 10 Mar 2008, 19:35
i make pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi for a lower-glycemic pasta treat. i use semolina instead of white flour to thicken.



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