Can you please help settle a debate for me? I think that wheat bread is better than white bread for your health. A friend of mine disagrees, and says that wheat bread “turns into sugar faster” than white bread. Can you answer this question?

I can help! I recommend choosing 100% whole wheat bread over white bread. The main difference is that white bread has been refined and had the bran/fiber filled portion of the grain removed in the processing. Whole wheat bread (and other whole grain products like barley, bulgur, brown rice, oatmeal, and popcorn) has fiber and other key nutrients like selenium and potassium that are important for your health. Whole grain products are high in fiber. This is an important fact because fiber can help keep us fuller longer, which helps us to control our weight. Those watching their blood sugar levels should also consume more fiber, as it is broken down slower and causes less of a “spike” in blood sugar levels. Overall, a balanced high fiber diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease and can assist those with diabetes in managing their blood sugar.

Many people tell me that they have switched to whole wheat bread, but they don’t know where else they can add whole grain products into their diet. There are many places that whole grains can be included! Try a whole wheat wrap for lunch. Top the wrap with hummus, cut peppers, spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers and you have a fantastic high fiber lunch. Whole wheat pasta can take the place of regular pasta. It does take a little longer to cook but when you combine it with a veggie filled marinara sauce and top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese your family will not even know the difference. Swap brown rice for white rice when you make your next vegetable stir fry or try oatmeal for breakfast instead of a refined cereal. Finally, wild rice or bulgur can be added to your homemade soup. It will give the soup some great texture and increase the fiber content dramatically.

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