Small Change #2: Consume Whole Wheat Products

The second small change I made to better my health was to switch from white flour and pastas to whole wheat flours and pastas. And I’m not talking about the breads that have just a touch of wheat in them, you know, the ones that have just enough to make them look darker. I’m talking about finding a bread where the first ingredient is whole wheat. It may take a few tries to find one you really like and enjoy to eat, but it is worth the effort.

Why choose whole wheat?

  • Whole wheat products include all three parts of the wheat berry (the bran, the germ, and the endosperm). Eating these three components together benefits in digestion as well as in absorbing nutrients.
  • Naturally has more fiber
  • Because it has more fiber, it helps with digestion and leaves you fuller longer.
  • Contains more vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid, copper, zinc, and manganese.
  • White flours are stripped of nutrients leaving you eating empty calories and not supplying your body with the nutrients it needs.
  • White flours are also digested much in the same way as white sugars are, using up your vitamin B6 stores.

So when you hit the supermarket, what do you look for? Well, look for whole wheat to be the first ingredient (not wheat flour or enriched wheat flour). Look to see how many of the ingredients you can actually pronounce. Also check for high fructose corn syrup and caramel colorings and try to avoid those. Check the fiber content and choose a bread with a few grams per slice. Also compare the sodium and sugar content between brands and choose the one with the lowest amount.

Or try making your own! Baking bread is actually quite a simple process and we’ve come to love my homemade bread more than any store bought version.

***UPDATED Jan. 2010: I know there are many in the real food community that would recommend eating white flour products over unsoaked whole wheat (even Sally Fallon) , so use your discretion and choose what is best for you and your family. Personally, I’ve decided that the blood sugar spikes are more of a concern for my own health than the fact that whole wheat products could be potentially causing my body to lose nutrients. I would also recommend eating a diet very low in grains (wheat, oats, rice) as any grain, whole, or not, causes an insulin response within the body. This step to whole grains is just a baby step to better health, later you can get into figuring out the whole ‘soaking’ thing as well as working on getting grains out of your diet!

****UPDATED Sept. 2010: We are now a completely gluten free home and eat almost 80% grain free as well. It’s my belief after this last year of research that we have not only a high probability of gluten issues, but that grains are not meant to be eaten near s much as we eat them!
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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.

Comments

  1. I like Sara Lee’s soft and smooth 100% whole wheat (not their white wheat version!). It still has HFCS but it is a great bridge as you get used to eating wheat. After moving my husband over to that for a few months, the switch to a heartier wheat bread (w/o the corn syrup)was easy. It would probably be a good stepping stone for those with older kids too.

  2. I love that Trader Joe’s makes a whole wheat sourdough bread. I believe the ingredients are whole wheat flour, water, honey and salt. No yeast! Wonderful NT style bread. I’m assuming it has a long ferment so would neutralize the phytates. It isn’t anything like other wheat breads, though. Very dense and can dry out easily, but still makes great toast.

  3. I usually make my own whole wheat bread. BUT before I started making my own, I really liked the Sara Lee whole wheat delightful bread… low in carbs too!

  4. [email protected] says:

    I like Arnold’s Whole Grains Line and Whole Wheat bread. It’s soft and has not HFCS. Pretty tasty!

  5. We are all WW and it’s a switch that was easy for us. The children understand that white bread is like candy or cake – simple sugar. With that concept they are allowed the occasional French bread with garlic butter. If I eat something white, I always be sure to couple it with something else fibrous.

  6. I did this, and I made all of my own whole wheat bread, both with reg. whole wheat, and sometimes with white whole wheat flour (my pref.). Then I was told to eat no more gluten, so now I’m exploring that world. I REALLY miss a warm slice of honey whole wheat with butter on it. Great Harvest is my favorite pre-made bread. Otherwise I made all of our bread at home.

  7. Thanks for all your comments on different breads you’ve tried. I normally make my own at home but for the first time in over a year I actually bought a loaf last night at the store. :-) It’s been a crazy week and I’m still getting over a stomach virus, so it was that or my husband would have a peanut butter sandwich for work w/o the bread!

    I actually found a whole wheat (white wheat) bread by Aunt Millies that actually tastes really good. And the reason I bought it? No HFCS!! SO this may be my go to bread when I just don’t have time to make my own.