With the anti-carb rage that took the American food market by storm ten years ago, it seems that every menu from San Francisco to Boston is wrapping their meals in a tortilla. “You want a Ranch BLT? Throw it in a wrap!” Or “You want a cheeseburger without the carb-guilt? That’s ok – wrap it up!” The deception can come when people start realizing that although these “flat-breads” are lower in carbohydrates, alleged enemies of state in the nutrition world, they are not necessarily lower in calories. In fact, they can commonly be higher in calories compared to a whole wheat bun or multigrain bread. The truth is further exposed when one considers that traditional tortillas are made with fat to accomplish the desired texture and flavor. Speak for yourself, but my motivation for cutting back on a beloved food, like bread, and replacing it with an alternative has to result in a measurable benefit, like consuming fewer calories at each meal. If you tell me that I may be eating more calories just to save myself a few carbohydrates, forget it! What’s the point?? If I’m going to be chubby, it might as well be on good food!
Because of this, for years I have scoffed at wraps as a “health-food” and even avoided making anything at home that requires a tortilla as an effort to cut calorie corners. This all changed when a friend, who was at that time following the Weight Watchers plan, introduced me to La Tortilla Factory tortillas. These little dandies are made from 100% whole wheat and first piqued my interest since many claim to be “whole wheat” but are really a mixture of flours. What converted my piqued interest into downright wonderment was when my friend told me that these gems had just 50 calories per tortilla.
When she went on to say that 28 of those calories come from the dietary fiber, resulting in 3g net carbohydrates and only 22 net calories, I had to grab a Q-tip to make sure I was hearing her right. I had only dreamed of such a food, but it would seem that the unicorn of burritos and hummus wraps did in fact exist! So, I trotted down to my Stop’n’Shop and grabbed a bag – when I swiped my debit card, it was the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship. I began to stuff anything and everything I could in these puppies and these are the only tortillas I have eaten the last two years. Most importantly, the fact that these are lower in fat does not mean that it is lower in flavor. In fact, I believe many manufactured tortillas leave a greasy taste on my buds, while La Tortilla Factory leaves a nice whole-grain flavor. For those of us who have switched to whole-grain products, we know how hard it is to go back to “white” everything.
So, why have just fewer carbs when you can have more fiber and fewer calories? Frankly, I want my cake and eat it too – in other words, I want my narrow waist and quesadillas too! La Tortilla Factory, the Fairy Godmother of dieters!
Disclaimer – La Tortilla Factory produces various versions of tortillas and wraps, with varying nutritional value. The ones that I discussed and use the most often are called their “Smart and Delicious Whole Wheat Tortillas” and donate only 50 calories to your meal. Other variations that I love include the Rosemary & Olive Oil and sun-dried Tomato Wraps – while they have 100 calories per serving, they also double the size. Finally! A company who understands giving the consumer their money’s worth…without the guilt!
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