Changing Diet from White Flour to Whole Wheat,etc

Updated on October 29, 2008
S.S. asks from Troy, MI
29 answers

I would like to loose some weight (25-30 lbs)and I am considering changing our family's diet to whole wheat and cutting white four and sugar. I also know it is much healthier. It sounds like a great idea but it also intimidates me to do the switch.

My husband is also lactose intollerant so cooking for our family is already a challenge and to cut out white flour sounds all the harder.Not to mention I have a three year old and a one year old to feed.

I am looking for encouragement and easy recipes - not only to cook but easy to find ingredients.

Any ideas, encouragement and recipes would be appreaciated.

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M.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

If you look online (or the library) for Weight Watchers recipes that are for the CORE program, they ONLY use whole grains, and no sugar. That's what I use! I don't cook with milk, either, for my husband.

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Great idea! In my business, I teach people how to eat low glycemic. What you are doing is part of that. Would you like more information?

S.

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M.K.

answers from Detroit on

Since the biggest change would be in bread, Sara Lee brand has bread that is whole wheat that still looks (and tastes) like white bread.

One thing that I do is to mix whole wheat pasta into regular pasta. I've done this gradually and my family didn't notice too much. To make it fun for the kids, occasionally mix the tri-colored pasta with the whole wheat and maybe use it to learn the colors (maybe call it rainbow pasta).

Blessings. And congratulations on being a stay-at-home mom!

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T.A.

answers from Grand Rapids on

S.,

A couple years ago I was on a no flour-no sugar diet and I really dropped a lot of weight very quickly. I recently went on it again because of a systemic yeast infection. Here are a few easy ideas.

Banana Cookies (really more of a breakfast bar)

1 cup or 3 med Bananas - mashed
1/3 cup oil (vegetable or olive oil)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups dry oatmeal
1 1/4 cups walnuts-chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs-beaten
dash salt

Combine ingredients, mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Press down lighty with a fork. (or for a different texture I would sometimes bake them in muffin cups with paper liners same baking directions) Bake 350 degrees 10-12 minutes. I would really watch the first batch and use that time for every batch after that, it makes a difference in the cooking time on how big you make the cookies. They should be firm to the touch, but if you let them go too long they will be dry. Sometimes just a bit of honey drizzeled over the top before baking is good, but it does make them a little sticky.

I always ate plain corn flakes, rice krispies, cheerios, and bran flakes or raisin bran. Even if you cant have milk sometimes cereal is good to munch on dry, especially for kids.

I would make oatmeal and mix in unsweetened applesauce.

I also would eat potatoes,and when I made oven fries, I really needed ketchup (which is loaded with sugar) so I would put artificial sweetener in tomato sauce, made a very passable substitute. I have since learned that artificial sweeteners are very unhealthy, and I avoid them. I now use an all natural herbal sweetener called "Stevia". You should be able to purchase it online or at a local health food store.

Once you are off sugar for a little while you will be amazed at how naturally sweet some things really are, even fruit will seem sweeter. In fact after being on the no sugar no flour diet for a couple of months I attended a baby shower and had a very small piece of cake and it literally made me sick to my stomach it was just too sweet!

I would also get hungry for pizza, and found a recipe for
Pizza With Hamburger Crust:

Make a meatloaf, but for the filler use crushed corn flakes or dry oatmeal, and eggs, salt, pepper, onions, and tomato sauce. Press the meatloaf mixture into the bottom and on the sides of a cast iron pan. Bake 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread pizza sauce over top of meatloaf

(you may have to read some labels to find a pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce with no sugar or corn syrup or anything fructose or sucrose etc in the ingredients, they are out there but you have to do some label reading at first until you learn which ones are which)

then layer whatever pizza toppings you like pepperoni, peppers, mushrooms, etc and lastly top with shredded mozz cheese. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 20-25 min or until everything is heated through and cheese is melted.

Of course if you can use whole wheat flour that will really open up your options and vary your diet much more. Lots of fresh fruits and lots of veggies, which we should be eating more of anyway.

I would also eat a lot of rice. Stir frys but just use soy sauce, leftover stir fry is good mixed into beaten eggs and scrambled. I always liked it.

Good luck to you!

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L.G.

answers from Detroit on

S.,
My husband's dr. told him back in March that his blood sugar was high, so we got serious about trying to lower it with diet, and he (and I) needed to lose some weight as well. since then, he has lost 60+ pounds! and i am 10 pounds below my prepregnancy weight (my daughter is 15 months) here are some tips...

my husband is ok with whole wheat (ww) pasta, i was not. at first i did half and half...but then i found Barilla Plus (in a yellow box) it is much healthier than white, has whole grains. it was a good compromise. barilla also makes a whole grain pasta in a blue box. whole wheat bread, to me is not much different. we've found aunt millie's 100% ww to be the best, and it does not contain high fructose corn syrup, which most breads do. this makes it much better for your kids too! be careful about things that do not say "100%" ww, because they are usually still made with enriched flour. we also use only brown rice, which i do not notice a difference in.

we also stopped making dishes with potatoes as much, and switched to eating more vegetables.

a few of our favorite dinners are stir fry, with chicken and fresh vegetables, and foil packet dinners (mix instant brown rice with water, and set aside for 5 minutes. put some rice on a large piece of foil, add some raw boneless chicken pieces, then add whatever you like, like vegetables, olives, spices, spinach, etc. i usually add some salsa, which makes it nice and moist. wrap it up and cook at 400 degrees for out 30 minutes. these are popular in the Kraft food and family magazine which is available FREE. you can sign up or get recipes online at kraftfoods.com. another one of our favorites from this sight is found under the healthy meals section and is called creamy parmesan crusted chicken or something.

we also pretty much only eat chicken and ground turkey, mostly because we don't really like beef, but i think that helps. we eat a lot of black beans too, which is excellent protien, as is tuna fish and other fish. i would also recommend drinking only or mostly water and cutting out juice, and soda if you're serious about losing the weight...

and the last thing, that is hte hardest...exercise. we have not lost weight in this house on diet alone. my husband runs and i walk about 5 times a week on average. this habit also helps us when we want to splurge and eat out or have dessert.

i'll tell you one more thing i have always believed and that my husband's dr. also told him...whatever you do, make it something you can live with, otherwise, whatever weight you lose will come back quickly!

God's blessings!

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L.Y.

answers from Saginaw on

Easy? Yes maam!! We eat whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, all sorts of amazing foods are available. Read the labels :) My rule of thumb is that if I can't pronounce the words or reproduce them without a lab then I don't buy it!

So.... I make spaghetti sauce, it is really easy!! 2 cans of tomato sauce, one can tomato paste, one pepper of your choice (we use red), three cloves of garlic diced, 1 onion chopped, 1 tablespoon of each: oregano, basil. Then salt & pepper, thyme and rosemary to taste. We put in 1 lb of ground beef but that is a choice :) Saute onion, garlic and pepper (beef if you use it) then add in all the other ingredients. I normally start this after lunch for supper :)

I replace whole wheat flour with any white flour in a recipe, it works really well.

Instead of white sugar we use torinato or natural cane sugar or fruit as a sweetener. Honestly, we eat a lot of banana bread, bran muffins, pumpkin bread, and fruit for snacks. I have lots a ton of weight and we are so much healthier. (we do organic as well)

Have an amazing night!! Let me know if I can help you :)

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C.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi S.,
I did exactly what you want to do years ago..I quit white flour and sugar and lost 25 pounds. It takes a little effort only at first cause after you get started you loose a lot of cravings and so it makes things easier. Since sugar is addictive and then you take it out of your diet along with white flour the cravings go away! Pretty awesome. I even went on a cruise and never had a craving for all the sweets that they tempt you with! And I felt so fabulous! Just talking about this makes me want to do it again...I did it for 3 years. Time to get started again..thanks for bringing up this topic!..
C.

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B.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

You have a ton of great ideas. I just wanted to throw out there, wheat does have a different taste, but if you introduce it to your kids early enough they should be fine with it. I have a 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 year olds and recently we had to cut out dairy and eggs for our diet (allergy). Because of that we have had to eat a lot of whole wheat stuff and neither of my kids minded the switch. You will get creative with cooking. For pancakes, which I personally didn't like the taste of at first, I started putting fresh fruit in them and not using syrup. The whole family loved it and it was just as easy for me to make. I have found I do a lot of fresh (and yes sometimes frozen organic) fruits in a lot of things I cook for a sweetener. Applesauce is great to have around the house, you can make lots of desserts and cake with it. Good luck with the switch and don't forget to excerise, even if it's just walking for 30 minutes!

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K.N.

answers from Detroit on

If you are going to switch to whole wheat flour, I recommend using whole wheat PASTRY flour. It is ground finer and tastes more like white flour. They have whole wheat pasta as well. You might start by just substituting half of the flour recipes call for with whole wheat pastry flour. K.

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R.G.

answers from Detroit on

If you are nervous about the wheat flour, you can always use rice flour. Also, Splenda is great! I switched to Splenda in place of sugar and my family never noticed. It tastes great with no after taste. I make our lemonade, kool aid, and iced tea with the Splenda and my family loves it. I also switched from white bread to whole grain breads. My family also liked the bread. I wish you luck. I have lost 27 lbs. since the first of the year. I'm still working on it but I feel much better now.

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T.A.

answers from Detroit on

My advice would be to start slowly. As you replace items replace them with whole wheat and so forth. This will make it easier. Your kids won't know the difference most likely.

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W.D.

answers from Detroit on

My sister got me the Sneaky Chef cook book last Christmas. http://www.thesneakychef.com/ One of the things it recommends in transitioning from white flour to a healthier alternative is 1/3 white flour, 1/3 wheat flour and 1/3 wheat germ. Your textures will change, but at least it does get the transition started. There are drawbacks to the recipies in the book edition I have; they say that they are not necessarily lower in fat or calories, but have more nutrients in them also the need for a food processor and the time needed to make the purees. You WILL feel better making this change! God bless.

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H.B.

answers from Detroit on

If you're nervous about switching from white flour to wheat, why not start out mixing 1/2 and 1/2 and work your way from there?

Just a thought.

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D.D.

answers from Detroit on

you have many good suggestions --I would recommend trader joes--go in there and take a peek around - they have many great substitutions at very reasonable prices.

I had to greatly reduce my flour intake - the south beach diet book has great recipes I use all the time - not just within a diet regimen. (hubby loves them -which is a big deal)

hope this helps!

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M.M.

answers from Detroit on

its so easy its not even funny! just shop at markets that make it easy! goldfish have whole wheat crackers... bread is easy whole wheat - pasta comes whole wheat - pancake mix - etc etc

cookies bake them with honey - white sugar is the problem not sugar so use cane crystals that are evaporated (organic kroger brand is cheap)

everything you eat now you can eat with a different flour and a different sugar its super easy!

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

It really isn't that hard. Start by buying the whole wheat or multi grained pasta and brown rice. When baking I use half whole wheat flour and half regular.

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T.V.

answers from Saginaw on

S.,

You mentioned that your husband is lactose intolerant. I drink Soy Milk that doesn't bother me. It's cheaper at Walmart than a regular grocery store.

Also, the website that would be good would be www.allrecipes.com. Hope this helps.

T. V

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L.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,
Suzanne Somers has an easy gourmet line with no white flour and no sugar! Her food tastes more than great ... for example her Apple Cinnamon Cake mix is one that is terrific... there is also Chocolate or Raspberry Mousse, and other desserts. You may have seen or heard of her latest books on cutting edge health. You can be a Preferred Customer for FREE (Yes, FREE!) and you can enjoy any products at my wholesale cost... www.suzanne24.com/joy and take a look at all that's there. You'll see retail cost on this site, so if you want to contact me for more info, please do! [email protected]____.com

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H.S.

answers from Detroit on

S.,

There are several good soy milk products. If you have it in baked goods or if you cook with it, it's pretty hard to tell the difference. I'm Jewish so I know all about having a diet that makes shopping and cooking really difficult. Example of that is that Jewish people are forbidden to eat meat and dairy in the same meal. So, when I make something like chicken and mashed potatoes, I use soy milk and soy butter. Meijer has a product called Willow Run and it is soy butter in stick form. If you're looking for a healthier tub soy butter, then check out Trader Joes. I don't remember what the brand is exactly, but it's really good and it's a really decent price. Also, here's a little tip that might help: when you're shopping, read the ingredient labels. 95% of food in stores has high fructose corn syrup and that doesn't help with the weight loss issue ... look for things that have cane sugar because there are less calories believe it or not. In fact, if you like soft drinks and refuse to give them up (like me) then buy soda at Whole Foods Market, because most of their sodas uses cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup and they are usually caffeine free as well (just as an added bonus.) Also, when you're baking things like cookies, if you use REAL maple syrup instead of sugar, then you won't get as many calories because maple syrup does not have high fructose corn syrup. Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi S.,

I have lost 30 pounds doing herbalife and cutting out some of processed food.  If you interested, I can email you a meal plan and go over some nutritional info.  You want to watch your carb / protein balance. I am a weight loss coach.

Here are some foods I used.Aunt Millie's Light Multigrain or wheat bread - 35 calories a slice and no high fructose corn syrup (yep, I'm one of those)  :)

Pasta - Barillia Plus (yellow, not the blue box)
Higher protein, so that with your sauce and some meat (either chicken, morningstar sausage, or beef) is good!

Stay away from sugar food......My treat was a ice cream cone from mcdonalds (I would cut out a snack). It's about 150 calories....

If you are a peanut butter lover. Try this website....all the peanut butter with out the calories and fat! www.bellplantation.com Awesome stuff....an now you can get a chocolate fix too. LOVE THIS STUFF.

If you want some more tips, feel free to give me a call ###-###-####....just a lot to type! I lost 30 pounds in about 5 months! I actually lost 22 pounds and 28 inches in 12 weeks. I has been a little chubby most of my life, but after my son was born decided I needed to be healthy....so I began to understand how food works.

Good Luck! You can do it!! Kudos to you for trying to be healthier.
K.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

I was just reading in mother earth news it's the carb's that cause weight gain. I've lost a lot of weight eliminating (is not a bad thing)processed carbs. I focus on whole foods/ grains; brown rice , a grain called quinoa (Easy to cook), baked potatoes. The key seems to be lots of veggies, some whole food carb, some healthy fat like olive oil, almonds, avocado, pine nuts, and a deck of cards size portion of protein. I'm vegetarian, beans and a grain is a complete protein. I also avoid most dairy, and most gluten flours (wheat & white flour, barley a few others).

On sugar go for something real, not lab created like Splenda. I use agave nectar from Trader Joes it's a low GI, it's sweeter than honey without the complex flavor of honey. I often use agave and brown rice syrup, there both great and don't make the kids bounce off the walls. And best of all there nature made.

Easy non dairy creamy sauce
1 can white beans rinsed and drained
broth or rice milk
spice & herb blend to taste

Toss the beans in a blender w/ enough liquid to make smooth. Add herbs to taste.
This can be used in a casserole instead of a soup mix, it's lower sodium, and beans give great fiber.

You could do the same thing blending cooked brown rice and broth to make your sauce w/ seasonings so it tastes like something.

Trader Joes has a lot of great stuff, but the best for you stuff can be made easy at home. You can send me your favorite dish and I'll make suggestions to make it healthier for you if you like.

And more exercise helps too. Try benching your kids, they'll love the interaction too. Or get them to do exercise w/ you, yoga w/ animal names for the positions and such. My 5 yo uses the peddle bike while I use my glider. We go exploring w/ the travel channel.

Make it fun, A. H

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

Most stores now carry supplies to support this type of change or you can always check at Whole Food / Good Food. I find many recipes at Natural Solutions (http://www.naturalsolutionsmag.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/r...)

I get this 'hard copy' (one of the few mags I do as I refer to it constantly for things) and I have tried a few of the recipes and enjoyed them. Currently, I feel that I am better off using the internet for recipes instead of getting an actual 'book' as I am never satisfied with any! LOL~ (always something strange or what I know I will NEVER eat!)

I support your change! Just remember, keep to it and do not give up~ it will be well worth it! (Just make sure you do not have any wheat allergies... Some are sensitive to this and I believe it has been found that IBS sufferers have wheat sensitivities. If you are not in this group, you are good to go!)

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L.K.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,

One suggestion for you, if you're looking to improve your family's eating habits all around, would be to pick up the book Eating for Life by Bill Phillips http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0972018417/ref=dp_.... There are tons of awesome recipes in it, broken down by breakfast, lunch, etc. (including snacks or "midmeals"), and it's completely health-conscious using readily-available ingredients. Delicious meals, too! Although some recipes do call for Italian / white bread or white flour, you simply make the substitution to whole wheat and you're good to go!

This is my fifth week cooking from this book and hubby and I both have lost weight. I'm also working out six days a week, too, but still - hubby's not and he's still losing pounds. I hope this helps. The best of luck to you in your transition!

L.

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

You can do it! Just don't be too hard on yourself right away. Change is hard and especially with kids in tow, grocery shopping is a chore in itself. Taking the time to read labels is a luxury that kids don't always afford us. But in time your thinking will change...start to replace a few things at a time and it won't feel like such a big job. Then, as you go shop, you will already have done the homework and those items will be familiar to you and you can concentrate on a few more items to change....make any sense or did I just babble out a whole paragraph...LOL!!

Good for you for putting your family's health first...and don't worry, you can do it!

~L.

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K.H.

answers from Detroit on

Easy ways to switch whole grains include: switching to whole wheat pasta which is now available in almost every shape and size. The texture is a little firmer so cook it a little longer than white pasta, but once you put the sauce on you won't even notice. We love ww pasta. Also whole grain breads are easy to find just make sure the ingredient label says "whole grain". Save the heals of the loaves and dry them in a paper bag in a dark cupboard. Once dry put them in the food processor for whole grain bread crumbs and use in meatloaf and meatballs instead of store bought white bread crumbs. Also, we only eat whole grain cereals. It takes a little more work and money to find boxed cereals that are whole grain, but it can be done. Or since it is winter, you can switch to old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast. For our favorite healthy breakfast we add 1/4 c. thawed frozen blueberries, 2 tbs. organic low-fat vanilla yogurt, 1 tbsp. crushed raw walnuts and a couple dashes of cinnamon. It is yummy especially on a cold morning and very heart-healthy.

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M.F.

answers from Detroit on

S.,

Congratulations on your decision to introduce your family to a healthier diet. I am hypoglycemic (and lactose intolerant) so we have very little white flour or sugar in our diet. My 20 month old son does fine with whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole wheat bread etc. We also have muffins sweetened with applesauce (which means you can use less oil as well) and other baked goods with very little sugar.

I would suggest starting out with simple recipes your family enjoys (i.e. pasta dishes) and just substituting whole wheat pasta for regular. You can also find good recipes on line.

You might find that you are spending a little more money on groceries, but if you shop at Trader Joes or the larger supermarkets, you can get stuff at reasonable prices.

Good luck-you're all going to feel better and have more energy once you make the switch.

M.

C.D.

answers from Detroit on

S. -

Congrats on your decision to make your life (and your family's) a better one! :)

I use Silk brand soymilk (vanilla flavor) in place of regular milk. Silk uses non-GMO (genetically modified) soybeans so I don't worry about the estrogen scare when my husband or son drink it, and they don't drink that much anyway. You'd have to drink A LOT over a long period of time to see any problems. If it's really a concern, try rice milk, but in my personal opinion it's too watery, like skim milk. Plus, with soymilk you can cook with it like regular milk (I do).

Also, a good raw (unbleached) sugar is Hain's brand turbinado sugar. You use less because it's sweeter. Stevia (a plant) is good too, but you only need a little of that because it's like 100x sweeter than table sugar or something outrageous like that.

Switching to brown or wild rice is a yummy and filling alternative to white rice.

Also, keep a bag or two of dried beans in the pantry and throw a handful or two into your favorite soups or stews. They're a good source of fiber and last forever. Remember to soak them overnight in cold water before using them.

Finally, I'm a big fan of Ellie Krieger, a Food Network chef. She centers her cooking style around creating tasty and healthy meals. Here are two websites you can check out:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/ellie-krieger/bio/index.html

http://www.healthylivingwithellie.com/publicsite/funnel/i...

Hope this helps, and good luck! With a little trial and error, you'll find a niche that right for you and your family!

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L.J.

answers from Detroit on

as far as bread goes just because it is wheat doesn't mean it is better, i was taught to make sure that the first few ingredients should not say enriched flour. some whole wheat bread has enriched flour as its first ingredient. that is one place to start to change your diet and it just takes a moment to read the labels. good luck

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K.C.

answers from Detroit on

Good Morning,

Wishing you well on the healthy journey. The switch is easy. You do everything w/ whole wheat flour you would just as you would use white flour. Like the other post's also mentioned, you can buy whole wheat spaghetti, macaroni, whole grain rice and a host of other whole grains. My family made the switch a few years ago and I was 24-25 so we are a fairly young family and it was not as dreadful as some made it seem. The food was still good (which I believe is in the seasoning anyway) and we stayed fuller longer. There's such a host of benefits to doing this.

Start small maybe using flour first and gradually switch things so your fam won't be baraged by it all at once.

Well Wishes,
KC

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