Years ago when I followed a low-glycemic diet I discovered what I thought was something new and wonderful. It was Dreamfields Pasta, advertised as having just "5 net carbs" per serving and being "65% lower glycemic index" than other pastas.
What the Dreamfields Label Used to Claim
In an article I wrote 10 years ago and published on my website as "A Totally New Low-Carb Process" I reported that my personal tests showed that eating Dreamfields Pasta had little, if any, effect on my blood sugar level. So I wrote several articles extolling it between 2004 and 2007.
Now I know that most other people don't get the same benefit as I did.
I didn't start writing for HealthCentral.com until 2005 and didn't write another article about Dreamfields Pasta until 2007, when I wrote three:
3. "Dreamfields Calories"
Except in the last of these articles, where I focused entirely on the calorie count, I made sure to note that Dreamfields spiked the blood sugar levels of some people who ate it.
But then in late 2007 I began to eat very low-carb, which didn't leave any room in my diet for any sort of pasta. So I didn't think any more about Dreamfields.
But my earlier articles remain online, and sometimes people ask me about them. Lately, several readers have written me about the articles that I wrote about Dreamfields Pasta. Here's what happened in the last couple of years.
The Dreamfields story made a major shift in 2012 when Frank Nuttall and three associates published "The Glycemic Response to Ingested Dreamfields Pasta Compared With Traditional Pasta" in Nutrition Today.
This randomized, controlled, double-blind study of 20 people, none of whom had diabetes, compared their blood sugar levels after eating Dreamfields and regular pasta. The levels were identical.
The next chapter of this 10-year story is a class action lawsuit against the companies that make and sell Dreamfields Pasta. These companies have now agreed to a $7.9 million settlement of the claims that they falsely advertised their pasta as containing fewer digestible carbohydrates and as having a lower glycemic index than traditional pasta.
Several bloggers have been quick to denounce Dreamfields Pasta as a fraud. But in fairness to them it's important to note that the Dreamfields people "deny all allegations of wrongdoing or liability, contends that its conduct was lawful, and is agreeing to settle to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and inherent risk of litigation." Nevertheless, many people have been misled, myself included, and I contributed to the problem.
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey gave its preliminary approval to the settlement on May 9. On September 24 it will decide if it will give final approval.
Meanwhile, if you purchased Dreamfields Pasta since 2004, you may be eligible to claim up to $29.85 from the Dreamfields class action settlement. But if you want to get that money back, you will need to file a claim by September 1. All you have to do is complete a short form and send it off by email. It's easy.
Clearly, I now believe that Dreamfields Pasta really is not good for people who have diabetes.