Is Whole Wheat Pasta Really Better for You?
In supermarkets today the Italian section is loaded with Whole Wheat pastas, and every cut and package is claiming the health benefits associated with switching to the brown stuff. Problem is that not all whole wheat pastas are the same and if you are really looking for the health kick, be sure to read the label closely.
In order for whole wheat pasta to live up to its health reputation it needs to contain 100% durum wheat and that should be listed as the first ingredient. Many of these products come with a 100% whole wheat orange stamp on the package.
Both the white and the whole wheat pastas do contain the three essencial parts of the grain; bran, germ and endosperm. It is in the refining process that the white stuff loses its kick as the bran and germ are eliminated due to heat. All that is left behind is the endosperm, which does not have the nutritional value that is present in the bran and germ.
Going with whole wheat ensures the most nutritional benefit, as the bran and germ contain B vitamins, vitamin E, protein and antioxidants in addition to fiber and healthy fats. Health studies continue to tout the benefits of adding whole wheat to you diet, as its improves digestion, is heart healthy and the antioxidants fight cancer and other serious aliments.
With all this going for whole wheat pasta there are still many that refuse to make the switch, and will opt for enriched white pastas that add some of the bran and germ back. Somewhat better the enriched product however is still not as healthy as the whole wheat. Whole wheat also contains more fiber so you fill up quicker and eat less.
Whole wheat does have a downside, as they are not as tasty, are nuttier and grainier. Also anyone with a wheat allergy would need to stay clear. I find that by playing around with different sauces and topping the whole wheat works just fine.
For a full selection of whole wheat pastas follow the link below.
- Amazing Health Benefits of Semolina (refreshingnews99.blogspot.com)
- Pasta Martelli. (veggiefitness.wordpress.com)
- The Pasta Underdog: Giving Whole Wheat Pasta Another Chance – Ingredient Spotlight (thekitchn.com)
- Improving The Appeal Of Whole Wheat Bread (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Healthstyler Habit #13 Swap white for whole grain (healthstyler.com.au)