Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A 'Whole' Lotta Mumbo Jumbo decoded

Recently, America has been on a 'whole wheat' and 'whole grain' kick. For whatever reason, people automatically assume that if something is labeled within either of these two categories, it is healthy; however, this just simply isn't the case. Italian restaurants have begun to serve 'whole wheat' pizzas and pastas, thinking they are doing their customers a service in providing a 'healthy' option, and while whole wheat pasta is healthier than regular white pasta, and whole wheat pizza crust a superior choice to regular pizza crust, they are still not healthy, and people often choose these options thinking they aren't breaking their diet, when in reality, these dishes are diet disasters. Often, the amount of pasta they are serving you is still way more than a normal serving size, and it doesn't help if you're getting whole wheat pasta that's loaded with tons of oil, butter, or cream sauce (even if it's a 'primavera'-type dish with lots of vegetables- just cause it comes with vegetables doesn't make it healthy either!) This is a big part of the reason I hate Italian restaurants- giant portions of extremely unhealthy foods with extremely heavy and unhealthy sauces- and I've found they are the least willing to comply with dietary needs (you say no oil, they pack on the butter... you ask for steamed vegetables, they coat them in oil first or sauté them, etc.), bottom line, make your own Italian food at home and save yourself the wasted calories and money! :D But enough of my ranting, and onto more whole-y misconceptions!

Additionally, not all whole wheat breads are created equal. Again, while any whole wheat or whole grain bread is bound to be a better choice than plain ole' white bread, you really need to read the labels- look for a bread that is high in fiber and preferably high in protein as well, so that your sandwich will keep you full for as long as possible. One of these days, I will have to compile a list of my favorite high-fiber breads (and there are quite a few of them!), but as a general rule for now, stick to a bread that has at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.

To make a long story short, whole wheat does not equal healthy- read the labels to be certain! Pin It

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