Pasta: To Eat, or Not to Eat?

One of my favorite foods is pasta. I think I could eat pasta every day and never tire of it. And when I’ve had a rough day, nothing comforts me as much as a plate of pasta with butter (or trans-fat-free margarine), Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.


Yet pasta is much maligned in the diabetes world. I’ve noticed that people who have diabetes become very passionate when discussing this food. There’s the camp that is indignant at the idea that pasta even exists — it spikes up blood glucose, causes weight gain, and may just be responsible for global warming (OK, that’s an exaggeration). There’s another camp who still eats pasta, but feels horribly guilty for doing so, and will swear with their right hand in the air that, “I really only ate a half a cup” (and 99% of the time, it’s just not the case).

I don’t mean to trivialize the subject. Pasta can be tricky to fit into one’s diabetes eating plan. But not because it sends blood glucose levels to the moon. My belief (and you’re welcome to disagree with me) is that most of us struggle with portion control. It’s been engrained in us that pasta is a main dish: that it should be piled high on the plate and smothered in red sauce, with a crusty, buttery slice of garlic bread resting on the side. This is where the problems come in. Here’s what I mean. Take a look at the calories and carbs in the pasta meal that I just mentioned:

3 cups of pasta: 135 grams of carbohydrate, 663 calories
1 cup of sauce: 30 grams of carbohydrate, 185 calories
1 slice of garlic bread: 24 grams of carbohydrate, 170 calories

Total: 189 grams of carbohydrate, 1,018 calories

If you dine in an Italian restaurant and manage to clean your plate, you’ll consume even more carbohydrate and calories. When you look at pasta this way, it’s understandable that this food is viewed as part of the evil empire.

Pasta Pointers
Dietitians aren’t really supposed to relay the message that some foods are just, well, bad. But some probably are, like deep-fried Snickers bars or the fried, breaded onions that are so popular at steak houses. Pasta isn’t bad, though. It’s how you approach it. There really are some redeeming nutritional qualities to pasta, too.

Pasta is a fuel. Pasta is mostly carbohydrate, the fuel source for the body. Why do you think Boston marathoners chow down on a pasta meal the night before the big day? The body needs carbohydrate for energy.

Pasta is low in sodium. Sure, the sauce may be riddled with salt, but the pasta isn’t.

Pasta is low in fat and saturated fat. Yes, it’s true. But all bets are off when you smother your noodles with Alfredo sauce, so skip that idea.

Pasta has a low glycemic index. Unlike white bread or potatoes, pasta is pretty low in terms of its glycemic impact. The issue, of course, is the portion: Eating too much of any carbohydrate food will raise blood glucose.

Pasta is sometimes enriched with B vitamins and iron. B vitamins help the body use its energy more efficiently. Iron carries oxygen around the body, among other things.

A serving of pasta, which is one carbohydrate choice (15 grams of carbohydrate), is one-third of a cup of cooked pasta. That’s barely enough for a squirrel. But unless you’re on an ultra-low-carb diet (hopefully you’re not), chances are that you have more than 15 grams of carbohydrate to “spend” at your meal. So, if your carbohydrate goal for supper is 45 grams, you can have 1 cup of pasta. Granted, if you spend your carbs on pasta, it doesn’t leave much room for bread, fruit, milk, or dessert. For this reason, it’s not hard to understand why some people just avoid it altogether.

If you’re craving spaghetti but don’t want to see higher glucose numbers later on, here are a few things you can try:

Try a lower-carbohydrate pasta. Dreamfields pasta is one example of a lower-carb pasta; this contains more fiber (in the form of inulin) and protein than traditional pasta. The company claims that 2 ounces (roughly 1 to 1 ½ cups cooked) contains just 5 digestible grams of carbohydrate, so there’s no glucose spike after eating it. My advice is to try it and then check your blood glucose 2–3 hours later and see how it works for you. Barilla ProteinPLUS and Ronzoni’s Healthy Harvest are not exactly low-carb, but they contain whole grains (Barilla ProteinPLUS also contains legumes), which may be better for your glucose.

Mix in veggies. Bulk up your pasta and “dilute” the carbs by mixing in vegetables. A pasta primavera dish is an example of adding a lot of veggies to a little pasta.

Eat it as a side. Grain foods should take up about quarter of the plate. Do away with the notion that pasta has to be the star of the meal.

Squash it. Spaghetti squash it, that is. Mix in cooked spaghetti squash (which looks like vermicelli when shredded) to cooked pasta and top with your favorite (low-fat) sauce.

Cook it al dente. Overcooked pasta has a higher glycemic index, meaning that it can raise your blood glucose higher than if you cooked it al dente (which literally means “to the tooth”). Al dente pasta is somewhat chewy, but never mushy.

Despite all of this, you may decide that pasta just can’t be part of your eating plan. And that’s always your choice. But for those who need their fettuccine fix, I hope this is helpful. Do you have tips for eating pasta that you’d like to share? If so, please do! I’m sure our readers would be interested.

Does this post have you in the mood for some pasta? Try our diabetes-friendly Shrimp Caprese Pasta, Italian Pasta Soup with Fennel, Bow Tie Pasta with Arugula and Feta, or Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta.

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  • Deb

    I adore noodles. (I think it’s my Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.) Spaghetti, tuna noodle casserole, tonnarelli, chicken and noodles, noodles with butter and a little salt – the list goes on and on, and I could (and often do) eat them every day. I used to get the spaghetti special at our local diner: a large bowl of split pea soup, a tremendous platter of spaghetti, and a side of broccoli. I shudder to think how many carbs that meal was!
    After I was diagnosed with type 2, I had to rein in my portions. I did it by reducing my noodles to 1 cup (42g carbs) with a 1/2 cup serving of sauce (10-12 carbs) and 1-2 tbsp. parmesan or pecorino. With a one cup serving of green veggies or a green salad with 2 teaspoons of homemade vinaigrette, it turns out to be very satisfying.
    When we were still eating out, I took my measuring cup and containers for the leftovers and asked for the sauce on the side, and took the soup home.
    I’ve tested the meal with and without the veggies, and sometimes my BG ends up lower than when I began!

    • Branes51

      The best pasta substitute I’ve found so far (I was diagnosed type 2 diabetes 3 wks ago) is spaghetti squash. You can eat a full plate with sauce and have no glucose spike whatsoever. I eat it with turkey sausage. One squash will produce three. good sized meals as a main dish. And as a side dish, (1 cup or so), you probably would get six out of one squash.
      Either way, it’s good to supplement with some veggies.
      Instead of garlic bread, 1/2 a whole grain English muffin with a little butter and garlic powder under a broiler for about 3 minutes works beautifully. Or you can use real garlic butter, but sparingly.

  • acampbell

    Hi Deb,
    Glad to hear from another pasta lover! Thanks for your tips — these will be helpful for others.

  • jim snell

    Watching CGMS and Pasta raises some beef’s.

    I love pasta but!

    I watch CGMS and its glucose output cycle be delayed when I eat pasta.

    Rather than the 2 to 3 hour digestion cycle; I see it stretch out to 4 hours or more.

    BG starts low and depressed and as gut/intestine finally busts through fat and eggs , the BG shoots up nastily.

    Small portions critical – so do not exceed.

    I love em but pain in behind watching digestion follow on cycle.

    Yes I have tried whole wheat versions and yes some reduction but pasta is still the food of the of the pharaohs to help the public works projects and citizens moving the two ton stone blocks by hand for the pharoh’s tombs and edifices.

    Energy content of pasta so high that if you can burn off great otherwise tread very carefully.

  • Tim L. Walker

    I’ve had fantastic results with low-carb pasta like Dreamsfields. I find, as long as I do just a tiny bit of exercise after dinner (as little as a 5-minute walk or a couple of flights of stairs), it’s enough to keep my sugars from even going up at all. I eat a healthy portion of low-carb pasta 2-3 times per week, and by HBA1C is always right around 6.

  • wowsah

    Jim snell – great point… I do love pasta though… I may have to try to find a pasta -resilient merkin.

  • 3d

    I go for adding lots of veggies and other things so that the pasta, rice or whatever is “diluted” – its also tastier. I do the same for a stuffing fix – mix in boiled egg, lots of celery, onion, spinch, carrott etc. You can take a box of stove top mix and with a bunch of veggies, you have a huge bowl of something that will satisfy you and family. The other day 1 box of mix plus all the veggies = 5 12 oz containers, but be lower on the carbs. We have gone to using 100% whole wheat pasta when ever possible – it’s heartier and it takes less to cure your “fix”. Same for rice products – brown and wild versions.

  • Bud

    I have been eating the Dreamfields pasta for a couple of years and I highly recommend it for taste. I’m wondering how 5 grams of digestible carbs equates to sugar levels. Does this mean that 95% of the carbs are passing through your system? I am borderline, where my fasting blood levels stay near 100 or under, so I don’t check my blood levels daily. I’m 73 and I know I’m not burning it off as when I was a younger man, so I do watch carbs to some extent. I also have the appetite of a teenager and could eat 4 or 5 servings of pasta a day, if I knew it wasn’t dramatically raising my sugar levels. So I think my point is, can one eat numerous servings of the ‘5 grams digestible pasta’ and expect the same reaction as ‘one serving’ of regular pasta?


  • calgarydiabetic

    I don’t think pasta is an appropriate food for diabetics in any significant amount. If I try to eat 50 grams dry weight of fettuchini and inject what I think is the appropriate amount of insulin at the two hour point I will either go low or be sky high. The result depending on random chance.

  • mark

    they’ve vastly improved whole wheat pastas in the last couple years. NOT as soul-satisfying as the real thing, but better than nothing. pasta and chinese food (ie, white rice) are the 2 foods i most miss since developing type2. like whole wheat pasta, brown rice just doesnt cut it, but it’s better than nothing….

  • Ashley

    One caution about the Dreamfields… I thought the people posting on Dreamfields Facebook page were crazies… until a birthday party a few months back, where macaroni salad was served made with Dreamfields. We had been eating it often, thrilled that we found a low carb pasta my husband could eat–and NOT affect his sugars! 2-3 hours later, his sugars were awesome! BUT… 6-7 hours and MORE, his sugars were pretty darn high for him. HOURS at 160-180. Not going up to 160, then right back down. So I recommend testing well past the usual 1-3 hours later, and see what it’s doing for you. We stopped eating it, since we’re just learning this diabetes stuff. (Oh, how I loathe it!!) One day I’ll get up the nerve to serve him pasta again, but in the meantime I’m so scared of screwing up his sugars, it’s been off the menu.

  • Jan

    Bud, one way to see how different foods affect your glucose is to check just before you take your first bite, and then again 2 hours later. You can check for portion control and how adding in a walk or other activity affects your readings.


  • Cathy R

    I’ve found that Orzo makes a good substitute for pasta in soup – a little bit goes a really long way. I even found a brand of whole wheat orzo that doesn’t seem to have hardly any effect on my blood sugar. Rice Select pasta – they also makes a whole wheat cous cous that is to die for!

    Of course, your mileage will probably vary…

  • John Davison

    As a pasta lover I couldn’t agree more with the article. But you can go one step further by using Dreamfields pasta, which is made with inulin, a fiber that isn’t digested. A normal serving of pasta, per the box, has about 40g of carbs, but inulin leaves only 5g behind. I stumbled across this product when I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic and was being super careful. What a find!

  • Doris J Dickson

    It does raise blood sugar levels and it’s usually impossible to guess when correctly. Usually, it’s long after I’ve gone to bed and even longer after the initial insulin dose.

    Pump assistance or not (especially since you can’t program a time in advance for insulin to dose) it is one of the riskiest foods a diabetic can eat.

    And by the way = I weigh my pasta before I cook it. It doesn’t matter that I only eat “one portion” or less, it’s still nearly impossible to guess digestion properly.

    Thus, most of the time it’s not worth it and anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves.

  • jim snell


    Right on bout digestion time 1 to 3 hours no sweat – after that look out as I also found numners high.

    Contrary to useless info out there, I regularly see my digestion system outputting the sugars from fat about 5 yo 6 hours after meal so that:

    lunch numbers/load = breakfast fats to sugars and lunch meal. Dinner is lunch fat to sugar numbers plus dinner easy digest. and at 11 to midnight Dinner fats to sugar come off.

    All caught watching CGMS on daily basis.

  • acampbell

    Hi Bud,

    Dreamfields Pasta is a low-glycemic-index pasta that contains a blend of fiber and protein that makes it somewhat resistant to digestion. One serving of this pasta contains 41 grams of total carbohydrate, but according to the manufacturer, 31 grams of the carbohydrate plus 5 grams of fiber pass through the small intestine into the large intestine where they are fermented by bacteria. However, it’s hard to predict how this pasta will affect an individual’s blood sugar. One of the dietitians at Joslin found that 1 cup of Dreamfields worked more like 15 grams of carbohydrate on blood glucose. Really, the best way to find out for yourself is to eat a measured amount of this pasta and then check your blood glucose 2–3 hours later and see where you’re at.

  • catgirl

    Ashley, in reading your comment I’m wondering about that 6-7 hour interval, where you stated your husband had eaten Dreamfield pasta and his bg was sky high 6 hours later. That seems like a very long time for that pasta to have had that effect, and I wonder if his bg was high because his blood sugar levels were dropping and his liver decided it was time to kick in?? Just a thought here – I’ve had great success with that brand of pasta, and maybe you should experiment a bit more with it. Also – don’t let him go 6 hours without eating a small meal – it will help to stabilize his sugar level.

  • Jay F

    I changed to Dreamfields pasta, It tatses very good cannot tell the difference from regular pasta, and when i can find it on sale the price can be reasonalbe wspecially with coupons. Where it does increas my blood sugar it is still much lower than using regular pasta or the terrible tasting whoe wheat pasta, I recomend it to all type 2 persons

  • Debra

    I have had very good results with Dreamfields pasta. I experimented by eating some then checking my glucose level in an hour and again in two hours. It did not cause a significant rise in blood glucose.

  • Janice

    Dreamfields is a staple in my good pantry. It is one of the few pastas that does not raise my blood glucose level. It is even better than whole wheat pastas.

    I am hooked on Dreamfields.

  • Tim Gimeno

    When pasta is on the menu or the wife and i go to an Italian restaurant I eat the amount on the plate and my sugars are not affected all that much. Goes to show that all are different on any foods.
    I do exercise 3 days a week. Strength, walk 20 minutes,swim 20 minutes. I also keep active at home by using stairs at least 10 times a day.
    There was a period that my sugars were 203 average and no matter what I did I could not get them down. The one day I woke up and was back down to an average of 131. I did not change anything during the high nor when I went back down.
    It goes to show the body is very complex and will affect you at any time.

  • L.Broomfield

    I too AMOURE the pasta, just love the stuff. I was raised on the finest Italian cuisine, and having Diabetes,noodles of any sort just threw my sugars into a tailspin. I had to get real with what Diabetes is and does in order to be in control of my health and heal enough to have pasta in my diet again; otherwise,frankly, what’s the use in being alive? So, I seriously avoid all sugars and foods that turn into sugar, and have developed a meal plan that is delicious and nutritious, although salt-free, which has been the great challenge for taste. I found after a couple of years you can adapt to the no salt in your diet and the foods can be made to taste delicious, but you have to allow the body and taste buds time to adjust. My blood pressure has been a real issue for some years, and I am not old enough to be in the stages of decline I find myself in. So, I got on the stick. Number one is no salt. Number two is that is you use Xylitol, the only non-corrosive sugar, which actually heals the vascular system and promotes healthy teeth, you will be off to the best start.It taste exactly like sugar, only better without an aftertaste. This product has been somewhat hidden from our food market for over fifty years, while cane sugar has wreaked the same havoc as Drano on the American consumer’s physical health. Xylitol is an alcohol sugar, but completely different. Look up the research for yourself. It has been used in Russia, Europe, and other countries for health, and Diabetics wouldn’t dream of eating anything but this natural plant sugar.It is ridiculously expensive presently, but we are working on this. You must take sugar and all foods that turn to sugar out of your diet. Now, all foods turn to sugar, so I am referring to blatantly dangerous and toxic foods, such as enhanced foods and packaged foods, dairy and candy, store bought baked goods, and sodas. You can refresh your immune system with all of the homemade products you can create being sure to use items like pumpkin in all of your baked good recipes to bulk them up with nutrients and non-fattening oils.I make homemade pastas and breads and all with pumpkin. I add it to my soups and to fajita mixtures and cake batters. In addition, eat all of the green vegetables that are leafy and, of course, broccoli that you can stomach. Then as your immune system heals as the pancreas is rested, you can have your pasta in moderation and build up to “Pasta Day”, that day each week that you look forward to your pasta treat meal. I do pasta regularly now, and I do it without my usual fabulous homemade sauce. Instead, I top it with olive oil and a large spoon of tomato paste.I add parsley or other pesto type concoctions made with olive oil or even small amounts of cocoanut oils which have now been proven to reverse Alzheimer’s disease. I love it this way, and save the homemade sauce, with the fabulous Parmesan and Romano meatballs Mama made, for special occasions a couple times a year.Homemade pepperoni pizza pockets with a little pumpkin and spinach frozen and chipped into the filling works great as well and is fantastic to taste. Moderation and not every day, and with flours that are thinly rolled and aid in slow burning glucose assimilation. The big secret if you haven’t caught on yet is VEGETABLES. Lots and lots of vegetables. No matter what the meal of pasta or any other food, a meal that includes as many vegetables, even the heavily vegetables soup with herbs and spices, is great for filling you up and providing the body with the nutrients to heal the pancreas and liver, kidneys and vascular system so Diabetes will not be the cause of your death. It’s a compromise, but it has been worth it. My A1c numbers are now down to the low 5’s, and if I didn’t tell some of the new doctors I am seeing, they wouldn’t know I am a diabetic. My cholesterol and triglycerides were at 950 and above in my 40’s, and I was primed for a heart attack, and I experienced a mini-stroke. I suffered crippling arthritis and have Lupus, and at one point was at numbers displaying that I was moving into Schleraderma. There is no such thing as a mini-stroke and there is no excuse for this. We all have to change our diets and eat healthy, clean foods, organic as you can afford them and take your blood sugars several times a day before and after eating, and then often each hour to see how your body is truly responding to the foods and sugars, pastas you are eating. You will find you can really control your health and your life this way and begin to do the things you may have found yourself unable to do anymore. I still have a ways to go and have to work on my sugar addiction year around, but I enjoy every kind of food that I ate before. I have to prepare the foods now which has been a great challenge as it is for many with current health issues and resulting financial challenges. However, the talk of Diabetes and the damage it is doing to our entire nation from young to old, is just that, talk. People are not understanding the connection between the illnesses and auto-immune problems that hey are experiencing and their diets.Nutritionist are much improved on their knowledge of the information available to them, but they still advocate fruit intake daily, and go by the Diabetes Foundation reccommendations which are not helping consumers to heal from this disease. Diabetes can be stopped and cured. If you are already experiencing neuropathy in your feet and legs, hands and fingers, or any other part of your body, you are definitely in the worst way with this disease and need to heed this advice today. Stop fruits until your pancreas and blood sugar numbers on a daily bases tell you that you are well enough to process their sugars again. This will take a few to several months. No orange juice or other store bought juices at all, you do not need them and your body is already too sick to have them right now. Later in small amounts, well, then you can add on small pieces at a time and check your sugars to see if they remain low enough for you to partake of fruits at all. Many Diabetics such as myself, had to stop fruits for a couple of years while healing the pancreas before we could enjoy the homemade versions of fruit pies that I prepare ahead of time now and enjoy weekly, that are made with gluten free crust and Xylitols Fabulous!!! I adore deserts and could not stay on my own program without my tweaked desert dishes, all of which contain in some form pumpkin and other vegetables as I can fit them tastefully in the recipes. Be glad that we are learning so much. Juice, and drink spinach alone if you can afford to do no other vegetable, as I know how expensive this is, but spinach is the most healing and necessary, low caloric, low glycemic and sugar balancing vegetable I have ever used in my diet, and I do not love it, but I have learned to sneak it in my own diet in clever ways and you can too. Freeze it fresh, and it chips and slices off nicely into little flakes that do not have the strong taste that you get with leftover pulp from juicing. Not at all the same. I started very slowly with spinach only. I now add carrot and mustard greens, kale, and a little broccoli to my juicing with one container of blueberries. I freeze three freezer bags full and thaw one each week and drink the freshest container over 72 hours, while being sure to make a pot of vegetable soup to eat each day at least one small bowl, as this is a great way to be sure you are getting up to 10 and 20 vegetables and healing herbs into your diet each and every day. Your sugars will begin to astound you at how well they will hold. My blood sugars leveled out so much this way that I actually had to start eating more food at each meal, and can now enjoy a sandwich without spiking my sugars. I hope this gives hope and promise of a healthier and much healed life for others as these changes have helped me so much, and I am still at least fifty pounds from my ideal weight. It is important to lose the weight, and we sure do feel better, but it is first important to improve the immune system and lose the
    sugar and other garbage ingredients from our foods. Blessings to all and here’s to your health!!!

  • Ferne

    I can’t find a grocery store in the area where I live – Minnesota but not in a large city. Can someone tell me which grocery stores I can find Dreamfield pasta?

  • Kay Schrope

    I agree with Janice. Dreamfields is wonderful. I can eat a big plate of spaghetti with homemade sauce and be 120 or lower at two hours after the meal. I just wish they made a noodle.

  • d. lublin

    For me, any carb sends my sugar skyrocketing, so pasta, oatmeal, and even milk is off my list including all those good whole grains too. To keep my sugars in check I have to stick to a very low carb diet, not more than 20 carbs a day! So goodby to pasta… and other things that I adore.

  • Kay Schrope

    I agree with Janice. I can eat a whole plate of spaghetti with home made sauce – store bought has too much sugar- and my bs are less than 120. I wish they would make noodles, too.

  • H Ornstein

    Dreamfield Pasta was found to be a hype. It is high in carbs and bad for you. It is the same as most pasta’s. This came over one of my arthritis sites and then I looked it up.

  • Julie L

    I have found that I am unable to eat any pasta or rice… my BG skyrockets and since I only control my numbers with diet, exercise, and metformin, it takes too long to get my numbers back in line. I heard on Dr Oz about shirataki noodles –Zero net carbs, zero calories, and made of a healthy natural fiber called Glucomannan. They are NOT the same as pasta and the texture is a little different, but I was able to put on some sauce and the next day (had to draw through) it helped my craving for spaghetti. Just a thought!

  • marilyn

    I’m a big pasta lover, just started taking insulin and am fnally able to relax figuring out my diet. Pasta has been verboten becuase all the
    diaticians have told me not even to go into an Italian Restuarant! I’m happy to hear that Dreamfields might be an alternative. Now, if i can just find it in our small town halfway between Springfield, Mo. and St. Louis, Mo.!!!
    I’ve found that I can tolerate foods high in carbs if I eat them early in the day.

  • jim snell

    Julie L:

    Thanks for sharing comments on pasta and rice. They trash me as well.

    ALthough fried rice seems to be slowed down by fat on fried rice while boiled rice send my numbers orbital

  • acampbell

    Hi H,

    I think enough people have found that Dreamfields actually “works” well for them in terms of blood glucose management, so I would disagree that it’s “bad.” Granted, it may not be for everyone, but it certainly seems to be a good choice for some.

  • sunburst69

    I am type 2 and gluten-intolerant. For a treat my wife makes me homemade mac ‘n cheese with alot of soy cheese,some soy milk and very little flour.
    She also makes homemade baked ziti with soy cheese, TVP and low-carb tomato sauce. She uses rice pasta. The added cheese and TVP enable a small portion to be ssatisfying with a good portion of veggies and the protein and fat help slow down a potential spike. I still have to exercise will power because they taste so good.
    A small portion of an additional protein source can also be added to the meal.

  • Judith Catterall

    Can’t do any kind of pasta, but have found wonderful, delicious substitutes like lasagna made with lightly sauteed chard leaves between layers. So I don’t miss it…….

  • acampbell

    Hi Ferne,

    Go to Dreamfields’ Web site — they have a store locator:

  • jim snell


    I trid the dreamfields and yes they have a lower glycemc value and that is great.

    having watched my CGMS on my BG on numerous occasions, I find a nasty delayed digestion response eating pastas.

    I will see the inital glucose dump, then it peters out – 2 hours. Then 1 to 2 hous later digestion picks back up and overall digestion cycle stretches out from 3 to 4 hours till 5 to 6 hours. This happens every time I eat pasta.

    Another nasty aspect is that I cannot trust my liver to do low bg glucose add without blasting my BG up to 311.

    My doctor says do not let BG drop under 100.

    With a small insulin add after meal and the dam brownout of pasta in middle of cycle, I find myself scrambling to add glucose during the brownout till pasta digestion glucose ramps back up.

    Some arguments out there suggest watch out for fat on pasta and do not eat with tomato sauces.

    For me this crap is useless and too much fun.

    Thank you for sharing about Dreamfields.

    i love pastas but today i must avoid the crap.

  • Jay

    I saw an advert for a pasta for diabetics on the Inside Soap magazine the other day, it only has 0.6g sugar per meal- Has anyone else tried it? I have tried dreamfields its good too.

  • ginny

    Hi, I am looking for ways to use canned pumpkin in recipes for Gluten Free and dairy free. Can anyone help me. Thanks,Ginny

  • John

    People hate the bringer of bad news. I tried dreamfields pasts. After 2 hours, my numbers were normal. I decided to check 4 hours later. Wow, way high. Those of you eating dreamfields, do chech 4 hours later. If your numbers are ok,go for it. Just find out.

  • s boudreau

    rather than struggle with pastas anymore, i use shredded cabbage as a substitute. it adopts the flavor of sauce and is very tasty. once more i can enjoy a spaghetti dinner and even add a slice of garlic toast.

  • grus

    Hi, can I just say I’m type 1, have always eaten pasta, the thing to do (what i do at least) is know when the spike is going to happen.
    For me, if i eat pasta and need to inject 6 units, i’ll do 2 units right after eating, +1 unit after 45 minutes + 3 units after 2.30 hours, after much testing i figured this deals with a tomato based pasta, and i do eat large dishes. my Hb1ac is about 6.7, not the best but pretty good.

    • colette

      Im a type one and im sicilian and miss my pasta soooo much. I used to eat it when i first got diagnosed but now i cant find the right way to do it my sugar goes to 400 im trying to see how other type ones eat pasta

    • colette

      Loll i totally get the tweaking thing with the insulin one unit here one unit there thats me too

  • Sandy

    I “splurge” on pasta about once every 2-3 weeks. 3 oz spaghetti, 1 cup of plain sauce (no meat added), some fresh grated parm, and a 100 calorie English muffin with spray butter (3-5 sprays) and garlic powder is my usual choice. For pasta I use either whole wheat or high fiber…my fave is Ronzoni Smart Choice. I had been afraid my sugar would be through the roof but surprisingly it doesn’t raise it but a few points higher than any other meal. I think it just depends on the individual and how their body reacts. For example, I know diabetics that go crazy with protein and their sugar stays stable….though I can’t speak for their arteries and blood pressure. If I eat anything over the recommended serving size, my sugars go nutso.

  • Janey

    Pasta is definitely the biggest hurdle for us since my husband was diagnosed! I found a Basmati rice he can have with a homemade curry; here in Adelaide I can get low GI potatoes, which mean we can still enjoy a roast on Sunday, but when it comes to pasta, we have to be really careful. Has anyone found one that would be good for him and the rest of the family?

  • Jan Jones

    Just wanted to add that I heard somewhere to be careful when cooking the Dreamfields. If overcooked it can have the same negative effect as regular paste. Not sure if this is true, but I am always careful to only cook mine al dente.

  • Kim LeMire

    I love pasta but I’m type 2 . I’m always looking for way to eat pasta without spiking my blood suger. unfortunetly Pasta spikes it more then a cookie or candy bar. but I’ve givin up the cookie and candy put won’t give up the pasta. I think it is all about the portions and what is added on top. I eat just plain with salt and pepper and olive oil. and side of veggies and small portion fish or chicken or lean beef.

    thank you for tips!! Sincerly Kim

  • acampbell

    Hi Kim,

    Thanks for sharing a sensible and realistic way to enjoy pasta in your eating plan!

  • Diane

    I eat pasta for lunch every day and I have never felt better. I weigh out one ounce of pasta, I cook it and then I add 1/4 of a cup of sauce (tomato based) each night. I also pack a serving of veggies, fruit, and protein in my lunch. Since I am a vegetarian my protein is usually an ounce of nuts, but sometimes I bring a half cup of beans. I drink at least 100 ounces of water a day, too. No soda, no coffee.

  • Ray

    Good article, thanks.

    How we react to pasta varies depending on the individual. I can handle a 125 gram portion with a mild spike an hour later and almost down to normal 2 hours later.

    Bread on the other hand kills my readings and takes a few hours to clean out of my system.

    For those that advocate no salt, I’d suggest you get another doctor. I have 2 doctors as well as several good friends that are doctors. All say the same thing, a poorly controlled study performed in the 50’s identified salt as an issue. The study went viral and that’s where we are today. I am a low salt user. Both my cardiologist and endocrinologist have told me to ignore the no-salt advice and eat more of it.

  • mark bethpage ny

    being Italian pasta on sundays is a must and during the week in soups and mixed with vegetables’ on sunday I used to eat two and three plates.well on sunday I’ve cut down to 1 plate maybe 2 cups and eat more meat and a salad along with it. it makes a little difference, during the week barilla multi grain plus mixed with dark greens such as broccoli raab or rapini is actually pretty healthy. for the pasta with legumes I now use legumes good for or better for diabetics red kidney beans,lentils and chick peas. in soups I put less and now sometimes substitute brown rice. any comments.

  • GregK

    Pasta is something that I adore and something I had been missing since I was diagnosed. It has been less than a year since I was diagnosed as Type 2. I am still learning how all the different foods affect me. However, one thing that I have found out is eating more organic all natural non-processed foods is far better for me. It can kill your food budget and cause you to plan a bit better for your meals however, my sugar levels are far better now than ever and I have lost over 80 lbs. With regards to pasta, it didn’t matter whether I tried Dreamfields, other organic whole wheat pasta brands, etc, etc, they all had the same effect. It really didn’t matter what portion I ate, they all spiked my blood sugar and even 12 hours later my numbers would suck! However, I recently switched to making my own noodles by hand. I can double the portion and still not have the effect on my sugar levels. Especially if I pair it with a meat sauce for the protien. I am not sure as to what is the cause for that, I plan to discuss it with my endo at my next appointment but I cannot deny the benefits. I make mine with organic non-bleached white whole wheat flour, eggs, salt and a touch of high grade olive oil. ( I use a pinch or two of organic white rice flour to keep the fresh pasta from sticking to each other) That’s it. It is plain and simple and nothing else is added. It is a lot more work than opening a box and dumping it in boiling water however, it is healthier for me and it tastes a lot better too!

  • dan

    You hope we’re not on a low-carb diet/lifestyle? Well, I’m sorry but this is exactly what everyone here needs to be on to control and reverse t2dm!

    The problem with pasta is it’s a nutritionally-empty food. The full-fat, low-gi/gl sauce topping it likely has more beneficial nutrients than the, yet people go for low fat sauces, the exact reason why so many have t2dm.

  • acampbell

    Hi dan,

    I guess we can agree to disagree. Some people will do well with a lower-carb eating plan, but as many people have pointed out, they’ve been successfully able to incorporate pasta and other carb foods into their eating plan. Not all pasta, by the way, is “nutritionally empty,” nor do pasta sauces, in and of themselves, cause Type 2 diabetes. There’s no one eating approach that works for everyone with Type 2 diabetes, so not everyone needs to be on a low-carb diet.

  • Susan

    I just found out two weeks ago that I’m diabetic, I made pasta with homemade tomato sauce and my blood sugar was through the roof at 15.8. needless to say, I was pretty upset. So no more pasta for me. I’m dealing with Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.

  • stephen warnke

    I really find it hard to believe you are advising diabetics to eat pasta, grains,bread etc. Are you sponsored by the wheat or pharmaceutical industry? I think giving this advice is a bit like inviting a recovering alcoholic to a boozy party. As a diagnosed type 2 diabetic I gave up wheat, rice starch and all things sugar and ate 20 grams of leafy vegetables and high fat foods. In 12 weeks I shed one sixth of my body weight and had normal blood glucose levels. I have maintained weight loss and now have a once yearly test. My advice is to not eat pasta or bread whether brown or white. the same goes for rice and oats. tomatoes are full of sugar as are most fruits so one should do some research and make an educated decision before eating. Look on Google at lchf for diabetics. The Scandinavian diabetes organisations all endorse this. also now mention it on their site.It pays to research thorougly before taking advice from anyone. I did thank goodness.

    • Peter

      I agree that carbs should be limited as a diabetic myself, but you don’t necessarily needs to cut out an entire food group to stay within your blood sugar target range. Moderation is always key to an sustainable diet plan. Some people can eat a small amount of pasta and bread etc.. and be okay and some can’t. We all have to do things that will work for us in the long run.

  • Janet Collins

    After seeing an article from the team of ‘trust me I’m a doctor’ on TV it has been shown that Starch in pasta when allowed to cool turns into a resistant Starch:
    It’s called “resistant starch” because once pasta, potatoes or any starchy food is cooked and cooled it becomes resistant to the normal enzymes in our gut that break carbohydrates down and releases glucose that then causes the familiar blood sugar surge.

    So, according to scientist Dr Denise Robertson, from the University of Surrey, if you cook and cool pasta down then your body will treat it much more like fibre, creating a smaller glucose peak and helping feed the good bacteria that reside down in your gut. You will also absorb fewer calories, making this a win-win situation.
    Thought this would be a helpful piece of info. It is now being researched more fully by the diabetes association. GOOD NEWS EH?

  • acampbell

    Hi Janet,

    Thanks for posting this. This is a great reminder, especially for folks who believe that pasta or potatoes should be avoided if one has diabetes.

    • colette

      Nobody knows whats good for anyone for that matter

  • Jon McGraw

    JMHO – you know I love pasta it is part of my Italian heritage and yeah there are some good points in here using pasta as a side dish instead of a main meal course I’m a type 2 diabetic and I use Novolog and lantus flexpen but you know I’ve read so many articles watched many videos and I was told that if I had it once in a great while like maybe once in 3 months her once in six months or something like that for me that would be okay and yes it is about portion control I was told that if I was going to suffer cuz I feel like I eat like a rabbit sometimes and that is not nothing that we can eat as diabetic you have high cholesterol people out there with high blood pressure carotid arteries you know yes diabetes is important to me as a diabetic it runs in my family and by the guy above who posted about she eating pasta or chicken pasta cold and then reheating it or something like that that’s the first time I’ve heard about that am I going to knock it no I’m not because I’m always looking for ways to continue to have something that comforts me when I’m depressed I mean how much do we give up in a lifetime most people I don’t drink alcohol I don’t do drugs I’m human I am not perfect I make mistakes I’m not better than anybody I’m equal as everyone else and this is like I said just for myself it’s my health and I’m not as active in the winter
    all I know is I enjoy my sugu and pasta with garlic bread and a really nice salad on a side note what works for you may not work for me and what works for me may not work for you I enjoy reading the posts I just don’t think that everybody needs to get on the band boat and ridicule what someone else says everybody has an opinion and they all stink course I left a few choice words out but that’s just because of the post and where its at anyway y’all have a good one dont take take your meds cuz I have been known to forget sometimes but like I said I’m not I’m I’m not perfect I am just me !!!!

    • King

      Dude, you need help. It’s fine once in awhile to have a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs topped with ragu.

      • Branes51

        Not if you’re a diabetic it isn’t. A big bowl (I’m figuring 3 cups at least, is over 100 carbs in one sitting, not counting the sauce and meatballs. Homemade sauce should’nt be bad if it doesn’t have added sugar.

    • colette

      I totally understand how you feel wow i am a type one diabetic and i take humalog and lantus and i just want to enjoy a dish of pasta and not suffer i havent touched a drink of alchohol since i got diagnosed. Im all italian and miss my pasta just a dish once n a while but cant find the right one cuz my sugar goes to 400.

  • Kingofcool1947

    Occasionally ok to eat a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs with ragu sauce.

    • David Wilson

      Most of Ragu’s sauce line has sugar AND salt in their top 4-5 ingredients (after tomato puree, oil, and water). There are better alternatives, both in terms of health and (IMO) flavor. Though they will almost certainly cost more.

  • Guest

    One serving pasta if not whole grain and side salad. Add your favorite veggies. Caution with croutons, bacon pieces and dressings- Use Low Fat Choices . If no dressing is preferred it’s ok. I do that to save calories.
    I also do the same when eating whole grain to maintain diet plan.

  • juliathemechanic

    Another excellent alternative is Explore Asia spaghetti. It comes in different varieties so can be quite colorful – adzuki bean, black bean, soybean, edamame – so the pasta is dark red, black, white or green. The pasta has around 25 grams protein, 12 grams of fiber and 17 grams carbs. Because it’s partially made of beans (you can’t tell – it tastes like regular pasta) it’s digested very slowly and doesn’t raise your blood sugar quickly. I love it. I had to go without pasta for so long because it raised my blood sugar too much, but with this pasta I’m back!

  • Sparks13

    #1 If my post dinner blood sugars are any example, Dreamfield pasta is (unfortunately), nothing but a scam.

    #2 Butter or MARGARINE? I think I’ll get my good food advice elsewhere.

    • Jerry Guinn

      Sparks13 … I agree with you. This article reports that Dreamfields Pasta has only 5 grams of “digestible carbs” per serving. Looking at the nutritional value on Dreamfields’ web site indicates that each 2-oz serving contains 41 carbs with 5 grams of fiber resulting in 36 grams of “digestible carbs.” Not a big difference from most others on the shelf. I think I’ll just stay away from pasta and give the spaghetti squash and zucchini spiral noodles a try. At least that way I’ll know what I’m getting. We can’t take anything we read at face value by instead have to dig into all information on our own.

  • Sparks13

    No they don’t. Somethings yes, all things, no.

  • Greg

    I’ve been buying zucchini noodles for my “Spaghetti”, and it is a somewhat decent substitute that doesn’t seem to impact my blood sugar. I haven’t perfected the preparation yet, though. I saute the noodles a couple minutes until they’re hot, but when I add red sauce, the heat from the sauce extracts lots of water from the zucchini. Until I can figure out a better method, I just pour off the excess liquid. The other problem is most sauces are 10g sugar per half cup (way more than necessary), so I either have to pay $10 for a jar of Rao’s, or make my own. Considering how good my own tastes without adding any sugar, I wonder why the prepared ones do?

    • acampbell

      Hi Greg,
      So glad you’re trying zucchini noodles. You might also consider purchasing a “spiralizer” kitchen tools so that you can make your own. Unfortunately, you’re right — jarred spaghetti sauces are often high in sugar. I’m really not so sure why they need to put so much in, although adding sugar does cut down on the acidity, to some extent. Making your own sauce is definitely more cost-effective and likely will taste better, too!

    • R Lopez

      Make your own sauce my friend! A little red wine instead of sugar to cut the acid, load it up with lean meats, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms! I use Barilla wheat pasta (Still practice portion control). Slap a big ol green salad on the side, and enjoy!

  • Try Spaghetti Squash!! Obviously a different food with a different taste, but sweet & yummy!

  • Claudia Wold

    I’m with you. Honey has metabolic disorder, which is that one-two-three punch of diabetes, high blood pressure and blood clot factor (meaning blood that likes to clot and clog up blood flow, which can, you know, kill you.) So high carbs and sugar, no. Salt is like poison. Not something that will kill you later over time, but as we found out the hard way, with too much in a single day. So salt is no more than 1800 mgs a day – he is allowed about 2,000 but the 7-inch scar from his neck to the occipital ….well, anyway… So for two servings with leftovers or four that night with friends: saute garlic and a half of a medium chopped onion, till transparent…yellow is fine, I like white. Fry meat separately, not because there is a lot of fat but so much ground beef is “dirty” and I rinse off the gray guck…about a pound of 7% ground beef. I buy the cans of no-salt-added tomatoes and blend, 3 cans will do, fresh basil, ground oregano (not Mexican oregano) about a tsp, garlic lots or a little but fresh and don’t scorch it. If you do scorch your garlic, sorry but its a do-over. About a cup of rough chopped (or sliced or whole) white mushrooms, then I take 1/8th the package of spaghetti, any kind you like – or less, so I can count the carbs of the spaghetti and put it in the sauce and simmer till it is al dente. Purists and practioners of the boil the noodles separately are now fainting, but trust me, its fine and the sauce soaks into the noodles better. The sauce soaked noodles are also more satisfying and you don’t need a whole cup or cup and a half or whatever you used to do before your body turned on you.

  • bob

    Italians in Italy eat tons of pasta and yet have a low rate of diabetes. Go figure.

  • OldManMtn

    My type 1 child eats (and loves) spaghetti quite often. Served with a simple Italian salad/dressing…It is one the most glycemic friendly meals he eats. I really cant understand why other folks have issues with it (actually, I do) — as with any meal, it all comes down to portioning and calculating the correct amount of carbs and GI – and we know pasta is rather low GI when it comes to carbs. We include a measured amount of meat in a measured amount of sauce with a measured amount of pasta, and sprinkle of parm. The meal is relatively light on the pasta and quite saucy, yes… but he loves it just the same and we pretty much always end up on-target for the next check time. Stick to homemade pasta sauce, Italian imports or high-quality local-made sauces — stay far away from fake pasta sauce like Prego (made with corn syrup). The sauce we use has a GI of 40, and the spaghetti is about 45, meat is a buffer. How can you go wrong? Only one way — too many carbs.

    Edit: Overcooking the spaghetti can be an issue as well, best to prepare it al-dente. However, while overcooking pasta does raise the GI, it doesnt affect the total carbs.

    • acampbell

      Hi OldManMtn,

      Thanks for your comment! Carbs are often considered to be “bad” when it comes to diabetes. Your son’s experience with pasta (and sauce) shows that carb foods can indeed fit into a diabetes eating plan.

  • OldManMtn

    Actually… no.
    Low-cost/low-quality pasta sauces need to add more sugar to mask/counter sourness because they are using low-pH pre-canned tomatoes, or are tomato-paste based, or use green-picked (and truck-ripened) tomatoes instead of more expensive and hard-to-deal-with vine-ripened tomatoes (which are naturally sweeter-tasting), like the higher-quality Italian imports or gourmet local sauces. The low-pH (around 3.5 – 4.7 for tomato products) and autoclave heat-pressure treatment is what preserves — added sugar makes ZERO difference on that point. I know this quite well, as I run a food manufacturing/bottling factory specializing in low-pH products.

  • Birdy SW

    Problem with keto is that you can loose muscle and you health can be affected, yes it does allow you to lose weight fast – perfect for fasting in order to make weight for boxing and so on… But from what i have read, its a lot better for your body if you go on a low GI / GL diet.

    • Derik

      The other problem with keto, especially in exercising type 2 diabetics, is that we can go into ketoacidosis (your body produces too many ketones, a byproduct of your body using protein for energy). Your body becomes acidic, and it doesn’t take much to kill you.

  • Jeremy

    Where does Dreamfields claim their pasta contains 5 grams of digestible carbs per serving? As far as I can tell, their pasta contains 5 grams of fiber, and 36 grams of digestible carbohydrates per serving, which is only slightly less than normal pasta.