Posts Tagged ‘Whole Grain’

February 18, 2012

Not So Grainy After All

You remember how I was all excited that we were eating healthier? We were reducing sugar, and eating more whole grain? Yeah, apparently I was falling for market hype. And now the FDA is upset with misleading labels. Part of the problem is there hasn’t been a standard for what a “good” or “excellent” source of whole grain is. The new rules will require manufactures list a gram or oz count, to avoid consumer confusion.

Remember those Eggo Waffles I thought were so good for us? They’re more white flower than whole wheat. There’s even an accusation of companies using food coloring to make products appear more like whole grain. It’s sneaky, to say the least. I’m sure this is part of the reason the FDA is getting involved. I’m not saying we would have avoided waffles had we realized the whole grain claim was misleading, but I certainly wouldn’t have paid a premium for them.

While this revelation is a bit discouraging, at least it’s not all bad news for us. I learned you can get a sense of the truthfulness behind whole grain claims by the fiber count. Whole grains are typically high in fiber. One tortilla roll has 48% of the daily fiber recommendation! And the bread we buy lists the number of grams of whole grain (11 per slice and 22 per sandwhich!), which is nearly half of the daily recommendation.

For now, I will stick to products that list a concrete amount of whole grain instead of vague claims like “made with whole grain”. I’ve always preferred ingredients I recognize (‘flour’, ‘sugar’, etc). I knew I was never going to be 100% whole grain, or 100% organic food, or any other healthy category. That was never the goal. We want to continually improve our eating habits. Hopefully with the new guide lines, we will continue to do that, and not be tricked into just thinking we’re eating healthier.

July 9, 2011

Sweeter Than Sugar

One of the first healthy living eating choices I made was to eliminating soda from my diet. I used to drink 2 diet sodas a day, and even though diet soda no longer has the salt content, water is still much healthier. I used to never think I could get used to the non-taste of water, but I found that keeping it properly filtered and particularly chilled helped a lot.

Our current goal is to greatly reduce the carbs, particularly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or corn sugar – really all processed sugars, natural sugars like those from fruit is okay – and the amount of white bread we consume.

We recently switched to Welch’s reduced sugar grape jelly. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. They’re currently the only grape jelly on the market without HFCS and less sugar. Clearly no easy feat or there would be competitors. It took some getting used to, sugar is tasty after all, but now I am quite happy with it. The only drawback is only comes in the dorky kid-centric squeeze bottle, and the squeeze bottle costs a lot more than a regular jar. The alternative is to switch to a non-grape jelly, but what can I say, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to my peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches.

We’ve also been transitioning to wheat bread. We’ve been enjoying Wonderlight Smart Wheat bread, reduce fat Ego whole wheat waffles, and whole wheat buns for hot dogs. We even get whole wheat French bread, when our grocery store has it. One could argue that these aren’t necessarily the best choices, but they are better choices than pure white bread. Just like the reduced sugar grape jelly, it takes time to transition fully to the healthy choice.

The biggest issue for me is protein. I’m not a big lunch meet person, heck I’m not a big meat person in general. (If it flies or comes from the sea, I love it, but I rarely eat land dwellers.) My primary pre-dinner protein sources come from nuts. But I’m prone to headaches, which seem to come when I don’t eat enough protein. I’ve been trying protein bars, but unfortunately those come with a lot of extra sugar.

Is it working? Well, since the reduction of sugar in take and the switch to more whole wheat and whole grains, I’ve lost another 5 lbs, brining my total just shy of 10 by only dietary changes. I’ll take that.