WHAT’S REALLY IN THAT PACKAGE?

I received a question a while back about one of the ingredients I used in Carb Wars from a man whose wife has gestational diabetes. He said the net carb count of 48 grams that I gave for oat flour was different from the count given on the Bob’s Red Mill website.

I happened to have a package of Bob’s Red Mill oat flour in my cupboard, so I checked the label. It says 16 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber in 1/3 cup (27 grams), so a cup would have 39 net grams, which is actually lower than what I reported in the book. The Bob’s Red Mill website now gives the count as 66 net grams, so they have obviously recalculated it.

This has happened to me before and it can be a real problem when you must keep your carbs very low. Coconut flour used to be listed as being about 2 net grams per serving and now some brands say it has three times that many. Why do counts change? Perhaps the company has switched to a new database. Samples vary and the databases are all different. Or they may have been cited for having the numbers wrong and been required to correct them. Andrew DiMino has an interesting article on the CarbSmart website: http://www.carbsmart.com/carbcounts1.html. He explained that many things can affect the nutrition counts, including time, temperature, humidity, shipping method, etc., in addition to the fact that samples from different years or different locations will naturally differ from one another. He also said that some venders lie.

Anyone who regularly checks his/her blood sugar can get some idea of what is really in a product, but according to diabetes expert, Dr. Richard Bernstein, even that can change from day to day and hour to hour depending on many factors.

Oat flour still has an advantage over wheat flour; it is at least somewhat lower in carbs, it has fewer anti-nutrients than wheat, and it has 2 to 3 times more soluble fiber. However, the lowest net-carb grain I’ve found is Sustagrain barley. I posted about it with the numbers and sources here: http://carbwars.blogspot.com/search?q=sustagrain. It has much more fiber than oats. It is available as flour or flakes from The King Arthur Flour Company.

Some other possibilities for low-carb baking:

-Atkins has brought back their low-carb bake mix.

-Carbalose flour and CarbQuik, by Tova Industries, can be ordered from www.netrition.com and most online low-carb stores.

-Bob’s Red Mill’s sells a low-carb flour mix from their website.

-You can also use a mixture of gluten flour, almond flour, and whey protein powder as a flour replacement. Jennifer Eloff has a recipe for many flour subs and some excellent recipes using them in her books and on her blog at: www.low-carb-news-.blogspot.com. She also has posted some recipes using a combination of her bake mix and Carbalose flour that look good.

The bottom line is that we need to keep our consumption of carb-containing foods low, low, low, especially those who are diabetic, because it is impossible to know for sure exactly what’s in there. And, although we all like starches and grains, there is absolutely no biological need to eat any of them.

© 2010, Judy Barnes Baker
Carb Wars; Sugar is the New Fat

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