A real conversation at our family dinner table:
Mom, my lunch sandwich was soooo good today! I loved it! All my friends were like, “wow, you actually have white bread today!”
Meanwhile I’m across from her with a wide-eyed look of “please stop talking about this before your dad catches on…”
If you haven’t heard yet, white bread is not a good thing. Neither is white pasta. Apparently white carbs are made from refined grains, which means all the fiber and minerals – basically the stuff that’s actually good for you – is stripped away. This means your body turns it to sugar really fast, which in turn means you may as well eat a bowl of ice cream instead of that piece of pizza. Same difference as far as sugar goes. This is what my husband tells me and this is the speech he launches into AGAIN while we are eating our whole wheat, high fiber pasta.
We very rarely have refined carbs in the house. This is really difficult for me because I grew up in an Italian-American family and we ate pasta at least twice a week. Honestly I could eat it every day if I wanted to, which I often did for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was not whole grain pasta, either. AND we always had Italian bread along with our dinner because we needed to scoop up all that delicious tomato sauce from our plates.
When my husband and I first married, he also ate white carbs. It was not unusual for us to go to Cici’s all you can eat pizza buffet and, like my mom, I made pasta at least twice a week. He ate it with gusto! As we grew older and my husband found himself giving the diabetes/weight gain/ heart disease talk to patients his own age, he changed his eating habits. Since I do most of the cooking, I had to be on board with this new lifestyle. Naturally he explained it in great detail and reinforces that explanation whenever my resolve cracks a little and I sneak some pepperoni rolls or white hamburger buns in the house. I know it makes sense and I want to be healthy, but I often rationalize by saying to myself “you rarely eat ice cream and some people eat it twice a week at least. So have your pasta instead!”
Unfortunately as I age, my waistline doesn’t seem to distinguish between pasta OR ice cream – it equally expands with both. I know I should drastically limit all refined carbs, but it makes me a little sad when white bread is a treat to my kids!