He said that where it comes to bread, you can generally gauge the quality by this simple test. Hold a piece of bread on the side from near the bottom so that it is up and down and not laying flat. The quality bread that is not overly processed will stay fairly well upright, and this is what we should be aiming for when buying bread. He said the bread that flopped over was generally not so good.
I just read through this thread and noticed a missing piece in this controversy.
Generally speaking, after the bran and endosperm are removed during the processing of white or grain bread (not "whole" grain) manufacturers replace what vitamins are removed. Processed bread is enriched with folic acid, iron, and fiber as well. But the bread is puffed up with air. It's easy on chewing, but nutritionally not very dense. You have to eat more of it to achieve the same level of nutrients.
What is not included in this thread is what is NATURALLY found in ALL "whole" grains, PHYTOCHEMICALS! If you google phytochemicals you will see they cannot be replaced. Once the endosperm and the bran are removed from the whole and intact grain, phytochemicals are gone forever! There are hundreds of them and they all have different protective properties which with intact whole grains. They work together (or are interdependent) with untampered nutrients in whole grains along with environment the human body's internal environment as well as our external environment. What is so important about them? They prevent several types of common illnesses we are all too familiar with; diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, heart and vascular disease, strokes, obesity, anorexia, hormonal imbalances, auto-immune diseases, and many types of cancer. Coco, coffees, teas and an assortment of fruits and vegetables also have phytochemicals.
I am certainly not saying if you don't eat whole grain bread you will develop these illnesses. We already are exposed to air pollution, smoke or secondhand smoke and other food additives and preservatives. Why push it? I believe the more we eat clean, unprocessed healthy and homemade foods the easier it is to prevent illness and or maintain good health.
This is for another thread, but the USDA (Department of Agriculture) and other government agencies have saturated our grocery stores, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food establishments, quick-marts and even schools with pre-packaged processed food that is less than optimum for the American publics' health. Yes, it may keep us alive and functioning well, but at what health cost? There's reason obesity and diabetes have become epidemic in the U.S. And now there are millions of teenagers with high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes!. Check out the NIH (National Institute of Health) read for yourself. Better yet, ask your doctor or your child's pediatrician.
I'm getting off my soapbox now.
If you would me to site reputable, professional medical or NIH links, feel free to ask.
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I do eat whole wheat bread however I still use enriched regular pasta. I don’t do white bread and I limit foods made with white flour but I don’t have a hard and fast no “white” foods policy. I practice portion control and moderation so that, for me, takes no food off the menu.
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4,142 8/23/19 3:29 A
"I know whole wheat foods are healthier than white foods..."
- Message Posted by: LJTBC2019 - 8/12/2019
In my opinion that's like calling a blueberry milkshake healthier than a vanilla milkshake. Simply because one had some added health benefits doesn't negate the fact that both are loaded with detrimental ingredients and attributes.
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LJTBC2019: Making a big change like this may seem unsurmountable. Adding whole wheat or brown rice into your diet can be as simple as adding only a portion at a time: Like start with a serving or rice that is 3/4 white and 1/4 brown and then each time change the raio. Or, limit your bread eating to one meal a day of white bread. Or making bread with the changing ratios I mentioned above. Maybe you don't need to eat pasta and bread every day?
Good points all!
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Thank you all for the in depth information. I really like whole wheat bread so I do eat that. I can do egg noodles too. My thing is rice. I love rice but do not like brown rice. I do not eat as much rice as I used to but I still love it. I just watch my portion with it. Egg noodles are better than wheat/brown as they taste better and have protein in them. I eat the veggie pasta too but not sure about the health benefits for that but I don't eat a lot of them either. I do not use flour for anything. I use panko crumbs for coating meat. I am not sure of the health benefits of tat but I don't eat a lot of them.
Make a list of the foods that you eat that have white or wheat options. List them in descending order, so that what you eat the most of is at the top of the list. Then make another list, wheat options in descending order of if you had to have them. Try to incorporate the wheat options that you like the best and skip the wheat options that you dislike the most. Hopefully the most palatable wheat option isn't just the one that you eat the least of in the first place.
Another thing to remember is that if you are using either as a vehicle to get more vegetables into you, using a little less and a little more produce isn't a poor choice. In other words, if you are using a half cup of pasta to pair with a half cup of mushrooms and a cup of spinach, the mushrooms and the spinach are the more important part. If you are having shrimp and angel hair, adding in some zucchini is probably a more impactful change than going white to wheat. That being said, do keep trying to see if you can find a wheat option that you truly prefer to the white. By keep trying I am not saying try a new product every day, but every month or few weeks, try something new to see if you like it and it might stick.
You don't HAVE TO but you can chose to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of your choice.
Some lovely sticky white Thai rice once in a while won't hurt you if you don't have problems with your blood sugars or digestion.
Some soft white bread for a BBQ... These things have a cultural place as well.
Just my personal opinion is for everyday eating my family all have wholemeal and I even use ultra fine wholemeal chapati flour for making things like my healthier waffles but we chose to eat white bread sometimes like for veggie hotgdogs!
The main reasons that whole wheat choices are "healthier" than white flour choices are:
- the majority of nutrients in the natural grain are found in the germ and the bran, which are completely discarded from white flour but are at least partially re-added in "whole wheat" flour (it is pretty rare for the entire grain to be ground and used together - the germ contains oil that can go rancid fairly quickly, so most commercial mills separate the germ / bran / endosperm and only add back in the bran and very little of the germ to allow for longer shelf-life).
- the majority of natural fibre in the grain is also found in the germ and the bran, and it is the fibre that contributes to the health of your gut microbiome as well as slowing the digestion of the grain and allowing for a slower / smaller spike in blood sugars for most people
So - it really is up to you to determine whether to change some or all of your wheat choices to whole wheat instead of white.
If you already are getting in enough nutrients (vitamins and minerals and fibre) from other sources, and are enjoying the wheat item as a pleasant adder, then going with white should be fine.
If you have no issue with blood sugar levels, and are enjoying the item with other foods that provide protein and fats and fibre to slow the digestion, then going with white should be fine.
If you only have a piece of bread or a portion of pasta every once in a blue moon, then going with white should be fine.
Otherwise, you might want to do some thinking about what it is that you dislike about whole wheat, and then consider your options.
Many folks find "regular" whole wheat (which is made from the hard red wheat berry) to be somewhat bitter in flavour, and definitely "stronger" tasting than white flour options. If this is the case for you, then try out some of the options made with "white whole wheat" (which is a whole grain flour made from the hard white wheat berry), which has all of the nutritional benefits of whole grain with a much milder, sweeter flavour.
Many folks who enjoy white "sandwich" bread with the super-soft fluffy texture, find the "bite" and "chewiness" of wholewheat breads to be distasteful. If this is an issue for you, then check with your bakery to see whether they have a wholewheat version of the Japanese "milk bread" that has ingredients that will fit in to your chosen diet.
For pasta, look for choices that are freshly made from wholegrain durum wheat (the traditional type of wheat from Italy, but now grown almost everywhere). Freshly made means that the oil from the germ hasn't had a chance to start going rancid (which is often the source of the "bitter" taste), and using durum gives you a lighter flavour and yellow colour.
For other starch options, it really is a matter of personal taste and preference. If you enjoy having a starch but aren't a fan of brown rice, then you might want to try out some of the other whole grains / seeds such as quinoa, buckwheat, teff, amaranth, millet, sorghum, wild rice, or barley and see if you enjoy the flavours and textures of those more.
If you don't enjoy eating something, then there really is no point in trying to include it in your diet. Finding alternatives that you DO enjoy, and learning how to fit them in to your nutritional needs is the main thing that will let you create a long-term way of eating that you stick to because you WANT to. It will always be worth the effort to try different options and pay attention to how your tastes and needs change, but trying to force yourself to eat things just because they are "healthier" is pretty much guaranteed to cause rebellion down the road.
Do you really need to switch to wholegrain for everything? Nope. You can change all or some or none - and then make other food choices that work with that for your nutrient and fibre needs.
Sir Terry Pratchett: "Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."
No you don't. What I would be inclined to do, if you really want your white bread, read the nutrition labels and choose the breads with higher fibre and lower sodium and sugar. In NZ some of the white breads are far more nutritionally sound that some wholegrain breads and some of those white breads have actually been recommended by leading Dietitians for those who can't or don't want to transition. It comes down to reading the labels.
It depends on what I am having whether I have wholemeal (wholewheat) pasta or 'white'. Macaroni/cheese I use the wholemeal, along with loads of shredded, sauteed cabbage to make it more nutritionally sound, but if it is Tagliatelle, I use good egg pasta, and load it with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sometimes courgette, and use Parmesan.
I don't eat a lot of rice, but when I do, once again, it depends on what I am having. Occasionally it will be some white, but usually brown, and nearly always with buckwheat, or red and black rice, or quinoa. But that is because of my taste/texture preferences, not because of it being 'better for me'