Whole grain pasta and bread

What is your family’s biggest concern when it comes to eating nutritiously? Taste is it at my house. My husband can’t seem to find a whole wheat bread that makes toast he likes and that tastes good in sandwiches. So right now, we buy 2 types of bread. We are doing better with whole grain pasta, knowing that we’re getting the health benefits of whole grains – and liking the taste (although we both still eat those wide egg noodles with stroganoff because we like the taste and texture). Research shows that people who eat more whole grains compared to those who eat refined grains are healthier, so it’s worth the effort to keep looking for ways to incorporate non-refined grains into our diets.

When I do the nutritional analysis for recipes using whole or multi-grain pasta, I often need to make substitutions. With all the shape varieties out there, many of the whole wheat pasta shapes will probably not make it to any data bases, but a good substitution is better than rounded numbers from a box or bag. Having the dry weight of pasta is best.

An equivalent weight of uncooked whole wheat macaroni will have similar nutritional values to whole wheat shells. Even the sodium migrating into whole wheat shells compared to whole wheat macaroni will be similar when pasta is cooked in salted water.

What about multigrain bread or pasta? That could be whole or refined grain, so it’s anyone’s guess what the nutritional contributions will be. Most refined grain products are enriched according to national public health standards, so they’re definitely not empty calories.