Monday, March 22, 2010

Reading the labels

Last week I went to my pantry to get some pasta to cook for dinner and was very disappointed when I read the label. I assumed I was getting whole wheat noodles and this pasta had a number of ingredients, many that really don't need to go into pasta.

This pasta does have whole wheat but it doesn't have 100 percent whole wheat, plus it has a number of other ingredients including wheat gluten, crystallized cane sugar and oats -- a grain I am allergic to!

Recently, I had been wondering why even though I had been eating (what I thought was) whole wheat, much of what I had been eating probably was raising my blood sugar and was certainly not as good for me as I expected. Wheat gluten is added to this pasta, too. That's not good. It also is made with soybean oil (more allergy concerns) and then there is "natural flavoring." What does that mean? Many things are natural, but that doesn't mean you should use them for flavoring!

I then started reading all the labels. The second box of pasta I checked had whole grain in big letters across the front -- a good start -- but then underneath it reads 51 percent whole wheat. I am not good at math but that means 49 percent of it is "not" whole wheat. That was fascinating. You see when I bought it, I thought it meant the "whole" package had whole wheat. I feel like I have been scammed!

Then the kicker was that this pasta also has oats. Discouraging! Now I have two boxes of pasta I can't use. This one was probably better than the first, but I really don't think paying extra for something I thought was "healthy" but turns out to be questionable is a good idea. I would rather find some "real" whole grain pasta and pay two prices for it!

I then looked at this box of pasta. It is made from brown rice rather than wheat and is good pasta. Also good for those on gluten-free diets and amazingly, it doesn't have a long list of ingredients. I love it!

Rice and water. I think we will have lasagna. From now on, I am going to read the labels when I buy a product and not wait until it's on my pantry shelf.

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