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    You Ask, I Answer: Spelt

    Are bread products made with spelt healthier than ones with whole wheat?

    — Patrick Wrengton
    Palo Alto, CA

    Spelt — part of the wheat family — is a whole grain.  While it is a healthy choice in terms of grain consumption, it doesn’t leave its counterparts in the dust.

    Spelt offers plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, thanks to a tough outer husk that does a good job of retaining nutrients.

    If the vast majority of your grains are 100 percent whole grain, you are doing just fine from a nutritional standpoint. Whether you choose whole wheat cous cous, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, 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, feel free to enjoy it.

    However, think of it as a healthier grain 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 just as healthy as a cup of plain of oatmeal. Nice try, but not quite.


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