Are Whole-wheat Tortillas Healthy?

Go for whole-wheat products to bump up your fiber intake.

Go for whole-wheat products to bump up your fiber intake.

Whole-wheat tortillas are a staple lunch box option for many women on a quest for weight loss. You might have decided to ditch stodgy, carbohydrate-filled bread in favor of tortillas and gone down the whole-wheat route in the belief that this is a healthier option. Whole-wheat tortillas can certainly be a part of a healthy diet and may have benefits over other carbohydrate sources, but there are still certain things to watch out for.

Calories

With any diet or food in general, the most important factor to consider is the calorie content. An 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla weighing 44 grams contains 120 calories, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Active women should consume between 2,000 and 2,400 calories per day to maintain weight, so tortillas must fit into your daily calorie consumption. To lose weight you'll need to drop slightly below these figures, as losing weight requires a caloric deficit.

Fiber

Fiber aids digestion and is vital for maintaining optimal health and avoiding illness. Whole-wheat products are much higher in fiber than refined or white grains, according to the Mayo Clinic. Because they're higher in fiber, whole-wheat tortillas don't cause as much of a spike in blood sugar levels as a white tortillas or more sugary carbs would, writes nutritionist Tiffant Tse in "Shape Magazine."

Carbohydrates

You might be concerned about the carb content of tortillas. Low-carb diets are often marketed as being the best way to lose weight, and carbohydrate-restricted diets are often advertised in women's fitness and nutrition magazines. Low-carb diets can be beneficial for weight loss, yet a low-carb diet can still contain anywhere from 50 to 150 grams of carbs, according to the Mayo Clinic. A regular whole-wheat tortilla contains only 19 grams of carbs, leaving you well under even the minimum recommended carbohydrate intake.

Considerations

With their high-fiber content and the fact they're higher in protein and lower in fat than refined grains and white tortillas, whole-wheat tortillas can be part of your diet on a regular basis. Serve them with a protein source such as eggs, turkey breast or beans and plenty of vegetables. They're extremely versatile too and can be served as a sweet or savory dish. Always keep a pack in your kitchen cupboard, and you've got a convenient, tasty, healthy snack, ideal for fueling a hard workout.

 

About the Author

Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images