White Bread vs. Wheat Bread

Simply switching from white to whole wheat bread can lower heart disease risk by 20 percent, according to research from the University of Washington reported in the April 2, 2003 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

I know whole wheat bread and white bread are different, but how exactly? 


There are two big differences: how they’re processed and how healthful they are. The flour
for both is made from wheat berries, which have three nutrient-rich parts: the bran (the outer layers), the germ (the innermost area) and the endosperm (the starchy part in between). Whole wheat is processed to include all three nutritious parts, but white flour uses only the endosperm. When put head-to-head with whole wheat bread, white is a nutritional lightweight. Whole wheat is much higher in fiber, vitamins B6 and E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and chromium.
 
But of all these nutritional goodies, fiber is the star:

*In a 10-year Harvard study completed in 1994, men and women who ate high-fiber breads had fewer heart attacks and strokes than those whose tastes ran to bagels and baguettes.


*Simply switching from white to whole wheat bread can lower heart disease risk by 20 percent, according to research from the University of Washington reported in the April 2, 2003
issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. 


*Fiber has long been known to aid digestive health too.


*Fiber can help you lose or maintain weight because eating fiber-dense wheat bread helps you feel full.


But a lot of white bread is enriched. Doesn’t that take care of the nutrients lost during refining?


Nope. When flour is refined, it loses the most nutritious parts of the grain—the fiber, essential fatty acids, and most of the vitamins and minerals. In fact, about 30 nutrients are removed, but
by law only five must be added back (though others often are): iron, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and folic acid. There’s so little fiber left after processing that you’d have to eat eight pieces of white bread to get the fiber in just one piece of whole wheat bread.


Other foods besides whole grains have fiber and nutrients. Can’t I just get what I need from them and still enjoy my dinner rolls?

Whole grains provide health benefits that other foods don’t. In a Harvard study of 75,000 nurses, those who ate at least three servings a day of whole grains cut their heart attack risk by 35 percent and were less likely to get into weight or bowel trouble. By contrast, those who ate more processed foods—such as white bread, white rice and sodas—were more than twice as likely to develop diabetes. “Science continues to support the key role of whole grains in reducing chronic illnesses,” says Len Marquart, professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota and author of the first health claim for whole grains approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.


How can I tell if bread is really whole wheat?

Color used to be a clue, but no more. Although white bread is white because it’s been bleached, some dark bread has just had caramel coloring added to it. Look for “whole grain” or “whole wheat” as the first ingredient on the label. If any other ingredient is first, put the loaf back and keep looking.


Is bread a vegan food?

Not usually. Many of the breads sold in grocery stores contain non-vegan ingredients, including milk, eggs, honey, shortening or whey—not to mention sodium stearyl lactylate, glycerides, emulsifiers, natural flavorings, artificial flavorings and lactase, all of which may be derived from animals. Vegans often have better luck at bakeries but still need to ask if the bread pans are greased with animal fat. If you like to bake, you can make your own bread. But if that doesn’t interest you, try Rudi’s Organic, Nature’s Path or Brownberry’s—they all produce vegan breads available nationwide.

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comments

Pretty good article, maybe more facts on white bread, though?

meowmeowmeowmeow - 2016-04-25 18:37:18

Add facts about white bread too!;p

puppylover37;D - 2016-04-25 18:35:45

Actually most bread is vegan. It's usually only specialty breads that contain eggs like some gluten free brands, Jewish Challah bread, and Montreal style bagels. The same goes for pastas, unless it's 'Egg pasta', it's usually vegan. Please don't scare people away from veganism by pretending that it is harder and more inconvenient to adopt the diet than it actually is.

John - 2016-04-03 00:00:11

this is a watse of time

melman 2 - 2016-01-18 19:55:42

Terrible information. Zero sources cited. Just typical of opinionated websites to support their life style. Stay away from whole wheat if you are diabetic.

ThisIsnonsense - 2015-07-02 21:51:52

I read an article about the. Harm that whole wheat can do to your health cause it has gluten? It's the opposite of your article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3292448/?report=classic

Anna Vu - 2015-03-19 20:00:25

The author forgot to mention that whole wheat products spoil at an alarming rate; ingested these products can cause alarming damage to stomach lining, entraila, and particularly the lower bowel track. I am 80 years old and sensibly confine my diet to white French and Italian breads, after several ambulence runs to the ER at Kaiser asa a result of day-old wheat products. My monthly blood screens and physical exams meet the huighest standards. If one can buy or bake fresh wheat products and discard the leftovers, bless their hearts.

Peggy King - 2015-03-06 18:15:27

Should diabetics avoid wheat bread as well as white bread?

D Johnston - 2015-01-17 23:42:02

But then it won't rhyme that well.

Danny - 2014-12-17 05:54:11