Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why whole wheat?

Health benefits. Staff of life. These are the things whole wheat bread is comprised of.

Did you know white flour is treated with a chemical bleach to make bread a brighter white? Bet you never thought about the chemical residues that are left behind. Not to mention the fact that the bleaching process destroys many vitamins.

We have traded nutrition for things like mass-production, longer shelf life, and soft texture. Public taste has become accustomed to breads made this way.

Even though all types of grains are good sources of complex carbohydrates and various vitamins and minerals, whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients.

What should you look for? Most breads are simply colored brown to fool us, so we can't trust the looks of bread. Check out the ingredient list; it's not good enough for a label to show wheat. Whole wheat must be the dominant ingredient to count. Typically, if you see "whole wheat," "wholemeal," or "whole corn" as the first ingredient, the product is a whole-grain food item.

Unfortunately, most people no longer have time in their schedules for baking at home and must rely on store-bought products. As a result, people have forgotten how real bread tastes.

I do not have time to bake, nor am I any good at it. The only thing I attempt is whole wheat pizza crust. It's not that hard to make, and it's definitely cheaper than the alternatives like frozen pizza or take out. Just a little yeast, flour, and water and a tiny bit of time and preparation. Plus, you can put whatever you want on your homemade pizza, so you know it's going to taste good. Aren't you sick of the pizza places skimping on your toppings anyway?

As far as bread goes, I buy the store brand whole wheat bread and it only costs me about 30 more cents than the wheat or the white.

I'm still trying to get used to brown rice and whole wheat pasta. That is a whole different post! In the meantime, I can still feel proud that I am making some kind of good choice.

It will take a little getting used to, but the benefits are worth it and you will be much better nourished as a result.

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