4 Highly Recommended Whole Grain Substitutes

4 Highly Recommended Whole Grain Substitutes

In my last article I discussed four benefits of consuming whole grain products.  Today I’m going to be discussing the areas of your diet where you can make effective whole grain substitutes.

1) BREAD:- Bread is a staple of many people’s diets and really it’s no surprise.  Sandwiches are quick to prepare, portable, practical and can be eaten on the go.  Whether you are walking somewhere, you are on a bus or train or even if you are at your desk, a sandwich can provide you with a quick, convenient mini meal.  Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to make their sandwiches with white bread instead of the healthier whole grain version.

Most people say this is because of the taste.  For many years, I convinced myself that I didn’t like the taste of whole grain bread and that is why I ate white bread.  However, about a year ago I forced myself to make the switch.  I’ll admit for the first week I did notice the difference in taste and wanted to go back to white bread BUT after this first week I got used to the taste and actually started to enjoy eating whole grain bread.  When I try white bread now I don’t mind it but I find whole grain bread has a much richer, more satisfying flavour.

If (like I did) you are struggling to cope with the difference in taste between white bread and whole grain bread I recommend you force yourself to change for one week.  I think you will be surprised at how much your tastes will alter during this period.

2) PASTA:- Pasta is another favourite amongst many people.  Like bread it’s quick and convenient to prepare and can also be eaten hot or cold making it another practical choice.  However, many people choose to eat white pasta.  I don’t think this is so much of a taste issue as I don’t think white pasta and whole grain pasta taste massively different.  I just think most people aren’t aware of whole grain pasta as an alternative.  However, I highly recommend next time you buy some pasta you go for the whole grain version.

3) RICE:- Rice is another popular choice for evening meals as it goes perfectly with casseroles, curries and stews.  However, once again white rice is the dominant choice for many people.  whole grain rice does taste different to white rice – it’s got a thicker, crunchier texture BUT like with whole grain bread it is a taste that grows on you.  Give it a try and I think you will quickly start to enjoy the richer taste.

4) CRACKERS:- I find that crackers are a really great whole grain substitute for biscuits.  They taste great on their own or with cheese.  Plus, they’re a lot better for you than biscuits too.  I highly recommend that next time you fancy a biscuit substitute it with a whole grain cracker.

If you want to get more whole grain products into your diet then the above recommendations should help you massively.  People are naturally resistant to change and I think that’s half the battle with whole grain products.  However, give them a chance and I firmly believe that you will learn to love them and start getting the full nutritional value from your food.

What do you guys think?  Have any of you struggled making the switch over to whole grain products?  Do you have any further tips for those who want to make the change?

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  1. says

    Whole wheat (brown) pasta has a nutty grainy taste to me. It took a while for us to make the switch – starting with a 25 brown / 75 white mix, then a 50/50 mix. Now we only eat brown pasta at home. But when I go out for pasta, I still eat the white pasta. Since that it only occasionally, that is why I call it a treat! :D


    Tom Reply:

    I suppose the taste may not be for everyone. When I was younger and tried whole grain bread I really did find it unbearable. However, when I tried for the second time I found that the taste and texture grew on me. I now like whole grain bread a lot more than white bread…but I suppose I did switch to whole grain pasta and rice AFTER gettting used to whole grain bread. Perhaps, this is why I didn’t notice so much of a change when making the switch to whole grain pasta.


  2. says

    Hi Tom,

    I have always heard and still hear people talk about not liking the taste or texture of whole grain (whole grain) alternatives and I am honestly always surprised because I did not ever even consider that.

    Mind you I have a long time ago tried the equivalent of spongy white bread in the spongy brown bread version and it was disgusting. But that is not a good alternative either.

    So for me the switch was easy and to tell you the truth today I look at white counterparts like a vampire would look at a cross ;)

    One more thing for people to remember would be to remember to check the sodium levels on all of these products as they still are processed and there are better and worse brands that make each one.


  3. says

    Good points Evita. I suppose it all depends on what you are used to. When I was younger my tastes weren’t very advanced and I preferred blander, sugary processed foods such as white bread. After a few years of having white bread I got used to the taste. When I tried something different in the form of brown bread my taste buds were not used to it and I did not enjoy it. After a week or so of forcing myself to eat brown bread I actually started to like it. Now I’m the exact opposite. I prefer the taste and texture of whole grain bread and when I eat white bread I don’t really enjoy it that much.

    Your point on sodium is a very good one. In fact it is wise to check all the ingredients. Some whole grain breads contain very little whole grain flour at all and some of the cheaper brands you mention are full of chemicals. Thanks for all your comments.


  4. jonas says

    Its not so difficult to adapt to another kind of food really. It starts with an open mind to give it a try for a while. Even in the form of whole grain products you can find many variations that have different textures and tastes so it a bit of luck to find the one you love straight away. I found my taste has become more subtle over the years and I really do appreciate the more natural things. The end result is not about taste but about how it makes you feel. Good article!!!


    Tom Reply:

    Very true Jonas. Your tastes do adapt as you get older and also the more you eat certain foods, the more you get used to them.


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