2.08.2012

Whole Grains.... Quite Rare in Processed Foods

I find it funny when the same ideas or topics tend to come up in seemingly separate, unconnected parts of our lives.  For example, sometimes in my classes that are of very different subjects, we will end up discussing or learning similar things within the same week of each other.  This topic deja-vu happened to me just this week.  After coming home from my stressful day on Tuesday, my roommate was hosting a friend for dinner and they were sitting around the dinner table with wine and chit-chatting.  I ended up in their conversation and it eventually led to talking about this blog.  I had to explain what a nutritarian is, and then got asked a question I had no idea to answer: "So if I try to cut meat out of my diet, I go straight for replacing it with bread and pastas, which I know isn't that great for me either, what should I do?"

I didn't know how to answer this because I am now not a big bread or pasta person.  I occasionally have it in the form of pitas, sandwich thins, pizza dough, and sometimes pasta with tomato sauce, but that's about it.  The best idea I could think of was to suggest that if she does want bread or pasta, or tends to overeat it, try making these not the main focus of your meal.  For example, use sandwich thins separately and pile a bunch of veggies on each side with some hummus, or maybe mix one cup of noodles to every one cup of veggies.  Both those ideas will fill you up more, while also satisfying your bread/pasta craving.  


Instead of just this
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Try all of this
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Another piece of advice that I gave her was to, when she was wanting to eat a processed grain such as bread or pasta, try to go with the ones made completely with whole grains.  This is where the weird connection comes in....  Then today I got an email from the Center for Science in the Public Interest about Whole Grains in the news, and that the FDA is now deciding how food companies can label their foods with regards to whole grains.  Here is the article, with a summarizing video at to bottom.

I know that going to the grocery store and walking through the isles with fancy packaging claiming "this and this is healthy", and "that and that is healthy", it can be downright confusing and frustrating.  Here are some of the strategies that I follow to wade through all of the packaging BS (taken from The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn):

1.)  Never believe the claims on the outside of a package or box.

2.)  Read the nutritional information box as well as the ingredients list of every product.

3.)  The first ingredient listed on the ingredients list needs to be "whole-" followed by the type of grain such as whole wheat, whole oats, whole rye, etc.

In general, I still eat more whole grains themselves, instead of products made from whole grains.  I love quinoa, barley, oats, and wheat berries, and I've been recently been loving long grain black rice.

What ways do you like to bring whole grains into your diet?  Have you ever fallen for the packaging of some processed foods claiming that they are more "whole-grainy" than they actually are?

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