Why is Whole Wheat Pasta Better than White?

We are told to stay away from white pastas and breads and choosing whole wheat varieties instead; but why is whole wheat pasta better than white? Read on my friends, read on!

Processing, processing, processing! The main difference between white and whole wheat pastas and breads is that they are processed differently. While whole wheat contains 3 very healthy and important parts of the grain- the bran, germ, and endosperm, white only ends up with the the endosperm. After being processed, meaning the wheat is heated until the germ and bran fall off, white pasta is left with endosperm only.

So? We know that the white pasta loses the bran and the germ, but so what? Well, the reason this is even being done is to give flour, and therefore pastas, a longer shelf-life and to make it more bug resistant. Basically what it comes down to is money (surprise surprise!). But in the meantime the wheat loses a lot of it’s nutritional value and we are left with the starchy part which really does nothing but increase our calorie intake. Why would we want to be eating something that is stripped of its nutritional content and left with the calories? Not I! Yes, white pasta is therefore cheaper, but I’m willing to spend the extra few cents, thank you.

Why are the bran and germ important? Nutritionally speaking, whole wheat pasta beats white hands down as it is chock full of fiber, contains vitamin E, B6, zinc, and folic acid. Fiber is super important, as you should know if you’re trying to eat healthy because it helps keep you from overeating (because it keeps you feeling full for a long time), helps with controlling blood glucose levels, and finally, helps with regulating bowel movements (trust me, you want to avoid feeling bloated from constipation).

But my white pasta and bread are enriched with nutrients! Food corporations do try to add some of the nutrients they originally stripped away back into the white flour. However, the problem with this is that the amount of these vitamins, minerals, and fiber that they add back does not equal to even close the amount that was in there naturally to begin with!

So remember, stick to the whole wheat pasta, even if you don’t like the price or taste. Trust me, it will pay off as you’ll be consuming something that is naturally packed with important vitamins and minerals as opposed to something that is only packed with starch and calories (and a pinch of vitamins and minerals that are unnaturally added to the end result). While I wasn’t a huge fan of whole wheat pasta when I first began eating it, I quickly¬† got used to the flavor, and now enjoy it way more than white! If you’re just starting off with whole wheat pastas, I suggest you make it with a strong sauce so that you don’t notice the difference in taste as much (although I know a ton of people, including my boyfriend, don’t even notice the difference!). I also suggest checking out the recipes in Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way, this includes AMAZING recipes that ANY ONE would love!

Comment and let me know what your favorite whole wheat pasta brands are as I’m a fan of trying new ones on a regular basis…

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Comments (8)

  1. Karen

    I pretty much love it all. At first I really despised it, but I got used to it and that is the only kind I’ll eat if I can. I really have no preference on brand…just try to pick the cheapest of the litter or if I see something great about it, like some added nutrition, then I might spring for that. The purpose is to be healthier in general. I use it for everything, my turkey spaghetti – love it! And unlike what others might say, I don’t think it’s bad with Beef stroganoff…though I don’t eat that often as the white sauce is not good for me either. ;)

  2. Earl

    It’s been almost two decades since I last ate white/processed pasta. I can’t imagine ever eating it again- unhealthy, tasteless, adulterated dreck! Once one has eaten WW pasta, one will never go back to white- frankly, it’s inconceivable that anyone would object to its taste.

  3. Rob

    Go to Italy and try to get whole wheat pasta. There’s your answer.

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  5. phil

    endosperm? did I hear that right. lol only kidding great article

  6. Bertha

    For me, it’s not really a matter of taste, it’s a matter of texture. It has a crunchier texture than white pasta. I don’t mind it, but you have to pick the right sauce to go with it. I would not suggest a red sauce, this works very well with veggies and a simple white sauce.

  7. Dak

    aw I really liked this article! I was curious as to why whole wheat pasta is better than white and this really cleared things up! Thanks a lot :)I’ll definitely be reading more of your articles :)

  8. admin

    I agree that the texture is a bit different Bertha. The brand you choose also makes a difference- some brands have a ‘starchier” texture than others. It’s a matter of getting used to.

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