Fun & Flexible Friday & ANS


What are your plans this weekend?

Are you getting ready for the holidays?

Shopping? Caroling? Baking? Cooking? Vegging?

What is your FAVORITE Holiday TRADITION?
I LOVE carols and lights! One of my FAVORITE

things to do this time of year is to BLAST carols while driving through

neighborhoods with FESTIVE LIGHT Displays….LOVE it!!

By the way, I’m still on a mission to reach 1000 fans on

my Facebook Page.

Please “ (if you haven’t done so, already)

Thank you!


Now, for our Fabulous Friday Registered Dietitian, Lauren O’Connor’s Column, ANS 

(Ask Nutri-Savvy Advice):

Q:  What are the benefits of whole wheat pasta vs regular pasta

besides whole grain goodness and fiber!  

A: When we are talking whole wheat pasta vs regular pasta we are comparing whole grains

to refined grains, regular pasta being the later. Refined grains are milled,

a process that strips the bran and the germ not only for a finer texture,

but to preserve/promote better shelf life. Whole wheat pasta is not only a better source of fiber,

but also a better source of other important nutrients, including seleniumpotassium and magnesium –

all of which promote a healthy heart and body function.

If these nutrients are fortified in your refined foods, chances are other not-so healthy ingredients

have been added in for texture and flavor.

Q: Explain how the body digests whole wheat/grain vs regular white flour carbs? 

 A: Because whole grains contain more dietary fiber, they are digested more slowly.

This may help keep blood sugars level and serve for better appetite control.

Since white refined flour carbs are stripped of much of their fiber (bran and germ),

they are digested more quickly and may not keep you satisfied – thus prompting one to eat a whole bag of chips/crackers. If you compare their Glycemic Index (GI),

you’ll see that a piece of white bread is 70 (high) vs whole grain bread at. 48 (low)

Striving for lower GI foods can help us stay within our dietary limits

because it’s the high sugar contents of refined foods that promote fluctuating insulin/blood sugar levels

which can lead to weight gain.

Q: What about starchy vegetables i.e. squash vs. other types of carbs that convert to sugar?

A: Your starchy vegetables will have more sugars (natural sugars) than your leafy greens

and other non-starchy, but because these also contain a synergy of important nutrients,

the heart-healthy benefits make it a dietary winner. Just be sure not to overdo these,

because sugars, no matter where they come from, can add up.

And you may be surprised that some of these vegetables depending on preparation

(i.e.: baked potatoes = GI 85) can actually have a high GI and thus should be

consumed in moderation and paired with other sources of fiber and/or protein to help even your blood sugars.

When you compare to processed foods that have added in nutrients,

you may feel you are getting in your daily recommended nutrients,

but you have to watch out for those foods that have also added in sugar, salt, chemicals

for preservation and flavor.  Thus, the least processed (plant) foods

are best because they contain a natural balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients

designed by nature to reap a synergistic effect (that may not be as effective when your intake

includes a processed amalgomy of simple starches, sugars, preservatives,

chemicals along with its fortified nutrients).

My recommendation: 

Keep it simple. Enjoy a wide variety of fruits/vegetables and some minimally processed whole grains

including buckwheat, brown rice, and quinoa. If you are accustomed to including bread and pasta

in your diet, look for whole grain products with at least 3 g fiber per serving and

seek out the types with the least sugar (note bread doesn’t need sugar),

least ingredients (they should be whole foods, not additives, chemicals, sugars).

Pasta is usually simple: durum wheat. But breads run the gamut from natural

whole grain goodness of Ezekiel to highly processed (high in sugars, chemicals)

traditional Wonder bread (yes, the one that rolls up into a small doughy ball)

which is as refined as they come. (Although, Wonder bread is coming out with some more heart-healthy,

higher fiber versions). And don’t be fooled by claims (High Fiber!) –

you must also read the labels to ensure the high fiber content isn’t weighed down in

sugars, salts, partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup etc. 


10 thoughts on “Fun & Flexible Friday & ANS”

Comments are closed.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top