Are bread products made with spelt healthier than ones with whole wheat?
-- Patrick Wrengton
Palo Alto, CA
Spelt -- which is actually part of the wheat family -- is a whole grain -- a healthy choice when it comes to your carbohydrate consumption, but by no means one that leaves its counterparts in the dust.
It is definitely a smart choice, since it offers plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, thanks to a tough outer husk that does a good job of retaining nutrients.
If the majority of your bread products are whole grain, you are doing just fine from a nutritional standpoint. Whether you choose whole wheat cous cous, quinoa, or brown rice is entirely up to you.
Personally, the bread products I have tried with spelt flour haven't wowed me. I recently had frozen bagels made entirely of spelt flour and found them to be too dense.
If the flavor and texture of spelt suit your palate, though, there is nothing wrong with enjoying it.
However, think of it as a healthy option, rather than the "superfood" some proclaim it is.
It's also wise to keep spelt -- or any other whole grain -- within an appropriate framework.
I recently saw chocolate chip cookies made with spelt flour, marketed as if they were the equivalent to a cup of plain of oatmeal. Nice try, but not quite.