I feel really stupid posting this. Actually, I feel stupid for not figuring this out on my own.
When Joshua was a baby and we were embracing whole grains I spoke with his then pediatrician about it. She suggested that white rice would be a better choice because it is more nutritious. The details are fuzzy but what I suspect happened is that I had compared labels and then asked the question about the seeming lack of nutrients in the whole grain version. I was confused, but the labels were pretty clear, and aside from the fiber content, the white rice did seem like a healthier option.
Last night we went again to the Supper Club. Yes, the same place where we were served hot dogs and beans as a “healthy” dinner last week. Gag. Last night was much better. We had ratatouille and brown rice and it was delicious. While reading the handouts I noticed something interesting. There was a table describing the nutrients of a whole grain compared to it’s enriched partner. For instance, in brown rice we see fiber, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folate, and vitamin E. Let me try to explain this better. On a package of white rice, most of these things are listed as enrichments. On a package of brown rice, none of these things (save fiber) are listed at all. So here is where the stupid me part comes in. I assumed that with the super strict federal labeling laws, that if it wasn’t listed in the “percentage of daily allowance” section, it wasn’t there. It never occurred to me that things that are added would be the only things listed. I really thought that every product that was labeled went through a nutrition analysis and the results were printed on the package.
The result of the past 11 years of mis-thinking is that I have been uncomfortable serving only whole grain brown rice so have supplemented with white rice. Read that again. Supplemented with white rice. Can you see why I feel like such a fool?
I am grateful to have learned something new. Especially regarding nutrition and particularly after the “hot dogs on white bread and canned beans are good for you” from the week before. We even had a nice workout at the end that sent me home with sore muscles.
For the last few days something very interesting has been happening. I have been awake in the morning. In my entire life I don’t ever remember feeling awake in the morning. I don’t have anything that I can attribute this too, as I am still eating some sugar and I don’t think the amount of sleep I am getting has changed (although I am making a small effort to not stay up all night). At first I thought it must be the exercise, but I didn’t start the running program until Sunday. Regardless of what is causing it, I am very excited to be experiencing it. What a trip, to be awake after sleeping.
Before I had a chance to post I shared this information with a friend (a health conscious well educated mother) who admitted that she had been thinking the same thing. Perhaps the food labels need some shaking up!