is there actually a significant difference between white bread and whole wheat or say regular pasta vs whole wheat?
Flour is made from wheat berries which contain 3 parts:
the bran, the germ and the endosperm. All parts are filled with
nutrients and are used in whole wheat flour. White flour uses only the endosperm, giving it its white color and soft texture, but causing it to lack fiber and many nutrients.
The Whole Foods website has a great primer on pasta:
Products made with white flour break down in your body a lot faster. Whole grains will keep you feeling full for longer, because they break down slowly. White flour is nothing more than white sugar, in my opinion.
Plus whole wheat and whole grains are so much better for you, nutritionally.
I found this article on Veg Times that explains it pretty well
I'm reading a great book called The Paleo Solution by Rob Wolf. I can't remember exactly where in the book I read it, but he asserts that regardless of whether we eat white or whole wheat bread, once we eat it and begin to digest it, our bodies will turn them both in to the exact same thing, the wheat bread just takes an extra step. He says both spike your blood glucose, then your insulin levels increase, and this leads to a host of health problems including inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes Type II, weight gain, infertility, cancer, etc. Based on that, I'm sure you can imagine he recommends not eating any bread, white or wheat:(
Depend whether you make it yourself or buy it. Most 'whole wheat' products in stores have a tiny amount of whole wheat and a lot of colouring or raisin syrup.
Whole wheat pasta has a foul texture so I haven't investigated the health benefits.
Agree with Debbie about the surge in blood sugar from fully refined starches, but most whole wheat products are just BROWN refined flour products.