We Tried It: Pasta with 20 Grams of Fiber!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

In honor of National Noodle Day, we're bringing you a review of some noodles you might not have seen on your supermarket shelves.

Let me first reveal three personal facts about myself: I'm incredibly skeptical, I'm mildly obsessed with fiber intake, and I haven't eaten regular pasta in at least two years. It's whole wheat or nothing in my house.

So when I heard about the company Fiber Gourmet and its high-fiber, low-calorie pasta, I didn't believe it. The pasta has 130 calories per 2-ounce serving, and a whopping 20 g of fiber (in the fettuccine). That's some serious fiber!

Considering that regular pasta would have about 210 calories and just a couple of grams of fiber at best, I was perplexed. How does Fiber Gourmet boost fiber without adding calories? Surely it must some strange unpronounceable ingredients.

I decided to serve a box of the 18 grams-of-fiber-a-serving macaroni and cheese to my boyfriend. As we rarely have macaroni and cheese of any kind--and certainly not the boxed kind--he was suspicious.

"What is this?" he asked, a puzzled look on his face. I think he expected the sauce to be vegan or made from squash or something (not such an unlikely possibility for me).

"It's macaroni and cheese," I replied. "Eat it. I made it for you."

He hesitantly took a bite. Then another bite.

"This is good," he said, still suspicious. I studied his face closely, wondering whether he could discern between this pasta and regular pasta.

He kept eating--and went back for another bowl.

Then I spilled the beans: "Guess how much fiber that pasta has," I began.

He put down his fork and rolled his eyes. "I knew there was a catch."

"Eighteen grams!" I exclaimed. "That's almost a day's worth of fiber in one serving."

"Then you eat it," he said.

So I did. I ate one bite, then another, then another. I, too, devoured an entire serving of the pasta as he ate his second bowl. It was just like the blue box variety I loved as a child, but I felt better knowing I was getting a dose of fiber along with my cheesy sauce.

I must say, I'm a believer. This stuff tastes just like white pasta (which to me tastes strange because I like the nutty taste of whole wheat pasta).

The ingredient list isn't scary: Durum semolina flour, modified wheat starch, wheat gluten, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid. OK, just like regular pasta, plus some starch and added nutrients.

So how does Fiber Gourmet deliver 20 grams of fiber per serving? (I know what you're thinking. Won't all that fiber wreak havoc on your digestive system if you eat so much at one serving? I was fine the next day, but I eat a high-fiber diet. However, Fiber Gourmet says this kind of fiber won't hurt your stomach!)

Back to how Fiber Gourmet gets 20 grams of fiber in one serving of pasta. (Seriously, that's like drinking eight glasses of prune juice or eating a cup and a half of beans!)

According to the company's website, the pasta replaces flour with zero calorie fiber in the form of resistant starch, which though technically a starch is indigestible by the small intestines and is therefore classified as fiber.

Resistant starch is sometimes called the "third fiber" because it delivers some of the benefits of insoluble fiber (the kind that can't be digested, absorbs water and helps bulk up your stools) and some of the benefits of soluble fiber (the kind that's digestible, coats your intestines and helps reduce cholesterol absorption).

"Resistant starch has a taste and texture similar to standard starch, except that your enzymes aren’t able to break it down and digest it. This causes resistant starch to show up as a fiber under laboratory analysis, and is why the FDA classifies it as fiber. It’s the best of both worlds: it tastes like starch, but works like fiber.
"Your body is also able to tolerate resistant starch much better than other fibers. While most cellulose-based fibers produce gas and bloating, resistant starch is much more benign. If whole-grain foods hurt your stomach, you'll be surprised how painless the fiber in Fiber Gourmet products is."

Where can I get it?
For now, the pastas are mostly available online, though some retailers do carry it. (Contact the company for more information.) The prices are a bit higher than regular pasta but aren't astronomical.

The mac and cheese comes out to about $2.75 a box if you get the $16.49 six-pack; the short-cut fettuccine is about $2.49 a box if you get the 10-pack for $24.99.

Have you tried Fiber Gourmet pastas? Would you? How do you ensure you get the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber a day?

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    I've never heard of this company before, but it sounds interesting. I'll definitely check it out. Thanks for sharing! - 10/6/2008   10:40:02 PM
    I will definitely try this when it comes to the store. I do agree it is expensive, but I think it's worth one try. - 10/6/2008   10:26:36 PM
  • 49
    I love the higher fiber "white pastas" I use the dreamfeild pasta which has 5 grams of fiber and 5 digestible carbs and it is wonderful. I will definately try this when it hits my stores!! - 10/6/2008   10:00:33 PM
  • 48
    this looks great!! - 10/6/2008   9:41:31 PM
  • 47
    Nice! Once I have a bit of extra money to splurge with (probably will have to wait until tax return time, unfortunately), I'll definitely try a sampler pack. Thank you for sharing this find! - 10/6/2008   9:00:13 PM
  • 46
    I have no trouble getting all the fiber I need in a day, but I can't wait till this becomes available where I live, because I would definately try it. I loved Mac and chesse as a kid!! - 10/6/2008   8:49:34 PM
  • 45
    Wow!!! My husband loves mac & cheese...we might have to try this! - 10/6/2008   8:35:08 PM
  • 44
    WOW! I would love to try this, it's low in calories, fats and sodium and loaded with fiber too. I can't have Mac n cheese anymore so I would love to try this one.
    Thank you so much
    - 10/6/2008   8:18:17 PM
    I am going to try it. I am obsesive about checking fiber content. I am so excited - 10/6/2008   8:16:41 PM
  • 42
    I plan to try it thanks for posting about it. - 10/6/2008   8:15:39 PM
    i would love to try this - 10/6/2008   8:14:21 PM
  • 40
    Thanks so much for posting about this! Yes, I will definitely try it, based on your recommendation. I'm trying to get more fiber in my diet, so this would be wonderful.

    Some of my other sources are: fruit & veggies, Fiber One cereal and bars, Thomas Light Multi-Grain muffins, and Smart Pop mini bags. - 10/6/2008   7:58:18 PM
  • 39
    I also get plenty of fiber in my diet. Just turned vegan so I won't be trying it. Good Luck to people that do! - 10/6/2008   7:19:06 PM
  • 38
    I second giant-steps re: fiber "technology." Eating a proper diet of vegetables, fruit and whole grains contains all the (technology) one needs- naturally. I also don't think it's a phenomenal idea (particularly for people unaccustomed to a high fiber diet) to consume 20 or more grams in a single sitting- unless gastro distress and bloating is the effect you're seeking. It's better (and more comfortable) to spread your intake throughout the day. - 10/6/2008   7:11:02 PM
  • 37
    It is a little pricey, but I might have to check into buying it. I love pasta but have been eating less of it because of the calorie content.
    Good info to know, thanks. - 10/6/2008   6:40:12 PM
  • 36
    I would like to try it as I love pasta and cheese. I will see if a store near me has it in stock. - 10/6/2008   6:37:27 PM
    It might be on the expensive side, but it's not like you're going to eat mac & cheese at every meal. It'd be worth it just to have a bit of comfort food. - 10/6/2008   5:52:51 PM
    That is ridiculously expensive! - 10/6/2008   5:08:06 PM
    That sounds pricey. I get some of my fiber from fruits and veggies. I get more from having plain wheat bran in a container. When I make a salad, I sprinkle a little on, then add croutons and dressing. When I have cereal--oatmeal, cornflakes, or cheerios, I dump in a tablespoon or two of plain wheat bran. And I add a little when I bake. It's cheap, easy, and it's the real thing. - 10/6/2008   4:53:18 PM
    I am always a little suspicious when companies make food products that rely on new "technology" I remember when everyone was switching from butter to margarine with hydrogenated oil. Then we switched from sugar to high fructose corn syrup. Now we have genetically modified crops on the way.

    I wonder what the "resistant starch" really is. Anyone know? I already take glucomannan so if it is that than perhaps I will try it. I read that they can make 0 calorie pasta from glucomannan but it has an off taste; perhaps this is a blend? - 10/6/2008   4:45:14 PM
  • 31
    This looks delicious! Wish I could afford it. Hopefully someday down the road I'll buy some ! Thanks ! - 10/6/2008   4:39:08 PM
  • 30
    Thanks for the information.

    When the product comes into the store I will buy.

    I get my protein from Greek yogurt which is 24 g., eggs, cottage cheese.,etc.

    Great article. - 10/6/2008   4:35:17 PM
  • 29
    I would love to try this product except I can't afford it. It really makes one wonder how america could be anything else but fat, because they can't afford the healthy items. Seems there would be a program that would give big discounts for products like this so that the average low income family could afford to eat healthier meals, instead of the high sugary, high cholesterol, high fat junk foods that are being sold in bulk to us. - 10/6/2008   4:26:33 PM
    Fiber is not a problem for me, but this looks like a really great idea for others in my family that don't always get enough fiber. Plus, it's low fat and will fit nicely with my food choices. - 10/6/2008   4:19:18 PM
  • 27
    I have not tried this product. But I usually get in double the amount of fiber because of the foods that I eat. - 10/6/2008   4:04:30 PM
  • 26
    I think I am tempted to try this, I love having lots of Fiber in my food because it helps keeps me full. - 10/6/2008   3:44:18 PM
  • 25
    Not a big mac & chz fan but my hubby is... maybe... since you got your boyfriend to eat it, I can too (my hubby that is)! - 10/6/2008   3:26:54 PM
    i will give this pasta a try, the basic mac and cheese is something i been avoiding in my daily meals, but with these i think i can actually have some and not feel like crap afterward! Thanks for the info! Much Appreciated :D - 10/6/2008   3:19:14 PM
  • 23
    I will have to try this! There is not a store near me, but there is near my best friend! I will have to have her go get me some and ship it! - 10/6/2008   2:59:42 PM
  • 22
    I look forward to trying it, mabye now I can get enough fiber in one day. - 10/6/2008   2:55:32 PM
  • 21
    They have a store near me!! They have a store near me! (doing a happy dance! lol!) I'm going on my lunch break tomorrow to go check it out, I'm so, SO excited to try this now!! - 10/6/2008   2:45:59 PM
  • 20
    My problem is that I get too much fiber each day. I don't know if my system could handle even more! =P - 10/6/2008   2:37:42 PM
  • 19
    I've had the mac and cheese and it's GREAT! I put in some lean ground beef and a touch of bbq sauce and it was super yummy cheese burger mac! mmmm - 10/6/2008   2:31:39 PM
    I love this stuff! Although I haven't tried their mac & cheese, their other stuff is waaaaayyy yummo! - 10/6/2008   2:04:27 PM
  • 17
    Fiber One(r) Bars and Cereal - tastes great, 6-9 g fiber per serving! - 10/6/2008   2:02:16 PM
    I'm also totally fiber obsessed. It's come to the point that my friends have clearly noticed my fiber mecca. While I was recovering from surgery, a friend brought me FiberFull Bars from Trader Joes, and I thought I was getting a whopping amount at 6 grams/bar, but now I feel puny! :D

    I wish I'd ever liked "the blue box" of mac and cheese. I might have to see if they have a fettucine or spaghetti. Like the author, I prefer the taste of whole wheat pastas, but maybe I can give this a shot. - 10/6/2008   1:54:37 PM
  • 15
    This sounds pretty good. I'm going to have to check into this. I like the fact the sodium isn't real high. - 10/6/2008   1:45:40 PM
  • 14
    Wow- this looks really good. I checked out the website and, amazingly, it's sold in my parent's town on Long Island. I think I'm going to enlist my mom to buy some for me. I am horribly addicted to Mac & cheese and this won't be anywhere near as bad for me! - 10/6/2008   1:39:48 PM
    I'm going to have to look this up & see if I can order some! I love pasta, the fiber is great but I'm also excited about the lower calories! - 10/6/2008   1:30:19 PM
    At $2.50 a box, vs regular macaroni of $0.33 a box, it's a pretty hard sell for me. - 10/6/2008   1:21:19 PM
  • 11
    I'm also obsessed with getting a high fiber intake (usually 35-45g is what I need to keep my IBS in line) so I will definitely check these out. Thanks! - 10/6/2008   1:12:23 PM
  • -JACE-
    wow! I really want to try this! - 10/6/2008   1:06:16 PM
  • 9
    Holy macaroni! Impressive!

    I'm a huge fan of Ronzoni Heathy Harvest, which has a whole day's worth of whole grains and lots of fiber in a serving (not 18 g though!!). If I can ever find this in the store, I'll have to try some of the mac and cheese - that's a dish I've been missing since eating healthier! - 10/6/2008   1:04:12 PM
    I just ordered some online! I love macaroni and cheese, and the nutritional contents are impressive! I'm so excited. - 10/6/2008   12:59:49 PM
  • 7
    Thank you so much for sharing! Sometimes I think of joining Jenny Craig or Nutri System, when really I already have prepared foods right in our own stores and I can create a healthy quick meal on my own. I'm anxious to try these! - 10/6/2008   12:54:12 PM
  • 6
    OMG, my prayers have been answered. I don't think I get enough fiber, and I try to steer clear of the pasta considering I have some serious weight loss goals. Geez, 18grams of fiber, sign me up! - 10/6/2008   12:50:51 PM
  • 5
    Wow, so intriguing. I don't usually have an issue getting fiber, I'm more excited about the fact that it is lower in calories. - 10/6/2008   12:43:24 PM
  • 4
    I love this idea! I am going to see if I can find it online & maybe order or find a store near me... I have a hard time getting the fiber I need each day but boy do I love pasta! lol! (I'm a wee bit Italian!)
    I can't wait to try it & hope that they sell in my local grocery store soon! - 10/6/2008   12:36:09 PM
  • 3
    I tried the regular fettuccini, the tomato one, the spinach one, and even the chocolate one. I liked the traditional kind, but wasn't too sure about pasta for dessert. The texture was OK (not exactly the same, but could have been me overcooking it), and the taste was fine. - 10/6/2008   12:29:09 PM
  • 2
    OK, I just orders a small "build you own box" from the company's online service. Lets hope it was worth it.

    Tom - 10/6/2008   12:14:28 PM

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