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…