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White or brown pasta and rice?

(14 Posts)
TinyGang Thu 20-Jan-05 20:53:04

I know brown pasta and rice are a good thing, but are the white versions particularly bad for you (like the difference between brown and white bread)?

I always feel quite bloated after white rice - does it have much nutritional value or does it do more harm than good?

I quite like brown pasta and rice and we're thinking of switching to them. Not sure if the children will like them though - do yours enjoy them?

albosmum Thu 20-Jan-05 20:56:20

I have just insisted that ds1 starts eating brown - he does - he has no choice.
DH hates it, I prefer it,ds2 too young and has no choice
BUT the important thing is I cook it and they get what they are given

I think their is very little nutritional value in white versions

PrettyCandles Thu 20-Jan-05 21:02:33

White varieties aren't necessarily bad for you (they're just as pure as the brown varieties), but they lack nutrients. They also raise blood sugar levels faster than the brown varieties, so aren't so good for children who suffer sugar-tantrums. Nonetheless, wholegrain foods aren't good for the very young as they are harder to digest and too much fibre can reduce absorption of other nutrients. A mixture of white and brown is best - sometimes one, sometimes the other, or brown rice and white pasta, etc.

My parents are very into wholegrains, but when they switched over to only eating wholegrains my mum got very ill with boating and nasty stomach cramps. It turned out that her digestive system couldn't cope with wholegrain pasta, though rice and bread were fine.

piffle Thu 20-Jan-05 21:04:16

basmati and long grain or wild rice is best, this is from the glycaemic index point of view, raise bloody suagr more slowly and for longer
pasta is much oa muchness though, although is should only make up a quarter of your dinner not half to 3/4 like most of us would eat...

Demented Thu 20-Jan-05 21:15:59

My DSs are 2.5 and 6 and we try to eat brown rice and semi-wholewheat pasta (Seeds of Change do one it's not as tough going as totally wholemeal), although for the reasons PrettyCandles gives we have only fairly recently swapped over to this as before I felt DS2 was too young, although we did always eat wholemeal bread.

TinyGang Thu 20-Jan-05 21:30:27

Thanks everyone! Prettycandles, what you say is very interesting; I didn't know any of that. Seems then, that you can go too far down the fibre route with some foods where young children are concerned.

Mine don't like brown bread much I find, but I use the Hovis 'Best of Both' as a bit of a compromise; at least they eat it up and it's not too cotton-woolly like ordinary white bread.

I'll look out for the semi-wholewheat pasta too Demented - I didn't know that existed. Brown pasta can be a bit hard work it's true

CountessDracula Thu 20-Jan-05 21:55:28

I must say I was brought up on brown rice and I love it. Can't tell the diff between brown and white pasta!

beansprout Thu 20-Jan-05 21:57:17

I can't tell the difference either, so have brown and feel virtuous (emoticon with halo).

monkeygirl Thu 20-Jan-05 21:57:35

I like wholegrain rice personally but would never eat brown pasta! I think this has something to do with my Mediterranean roots. I know Italians are generally healthier because their overall diet is much better than most (good oils, lots of fruit and veg etc) but I don't know any Italians who eat brown pasta.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 24-Jan-05 19:42:32

We only have brown pasta and rice in our house. But when it comes to brown pasta, the brands really differ. I tried Waitrose and Sainsbury brand brown pasta, and boy were they gross, like eating cardboard. We use La Bio Idea Organic, which comes in green bags from our local health food store.

We have a lot of diabetes in my family, and some in DH's, so eating a low-GI diet is important to me. DS1 is used to only getting brown pasta at home, and doesn't seem to mind. It is a bit high-fibre for tiny ones, though.

zubb Mon 24-Jan-05 19:52:28

We changed to brown rice and pasta when we had ds1, and both kids eat it fine - they have white pasta at relatives / friends but don't seem to notice any difference. I took a while to get used to brown rice, and will still use basmati sometimes in preference, but the kids like it.

motherinferior Mon 24-Jan-05 19:54:09

DP and I are both half Asian... neither of us can stand brown bloody rice. DP actually threatened to leave me once when he found some in the cupboard.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 24-Jan-05 20:39:39

We use brown basmati, and we cook it properly (i.e. with a limited amount of water, not like pasta). Brown rice does need a bit more work to be palatable.

merrygoround Mon 24-Jan-05 20:58:36

I cook brown and white rice at the same time and mix in approx a one third to two thirds brown/white for dd. For myself I have a higher proportion of brown to white. I've always cooked them in separate pots (given different cooking times) but a friend worked out she could cook them in the same pot using a large amount of boiling water (ie not the method where all the water is absorbed), and putting the brown in first and then adding the white a bit later. I've not tried it but it would be a lot less trouble. The very idea of brown pasta makes me feel ill - just conditioning I suppose, so I've never tried it despite having a pack of buckwheat pasta in my cupboard, bought in a well intentioned shopping trip.

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