What is up with the different kinds of bread?
The bread section of a store can be overwhelming because there are TONS of options to choose from! How can you pick your bread? Learn a bit about the different types mentioned below:
White bread: White bread is made from wheat flour, however the germ and bran are removed, leaving the endosperm. When the germ and bran are removed, fiber, vitamins B6 and E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and chromium are all also lost. White bread is a lot less nutritious than whole wheat options due to the loss of these nutrients. Even though white bread is enriched, it does not contain nearly as many nutrients as orignial wheat bread does. According to Vegetarian Times, “theres so little fiber left after processing that youd have to eat eight pieces of white bread to get the fiber in just one piece of whole wheat bread.”
Wheat Bread: Wheat bread is not the same as whole-wheat because it could have been refined and lost many of its nutrients.
Whole Wheat Bread: Whole wheat is one kind of whole grain, so all whole wheat is whole grain, but not all whole grain is whole wheat.
Multi-Grain Bread: Mutli-grain bread is not necessarily healthy. While it may use different grains, they could be refined grains so it is not as healthy a choice as a 100% whole wheat/grain option would be. Check the ingredients to see which grains have been used in it.
Whole Grain Bread: Whole grain bread is made from whole wheat flour and it is processed including the endosperm, bran, and germ. Since it includes all of them, it contains more fiber, vitamins B6 and E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and chromium and therefore is a more healthful option.
Sprouted Bread: Sprouted grain bread has a few advantages over whole wheat bread.Sprouted-grain bread is made from wheat kernels that have been sprouted, grounded and baked into bread. This process retains more of the nutrients. Many sprouted grain breads contain legumes and a variety of healthy grains, providing a wider variety of nutrients and amino acids. Sprouted grains have also been said to be easier to digest than whole grains.
How to tell if it is vegan?
Unfortunately many brands are not! Breads often contain eggs, milk, honey, or other non vegan ingredients. While you could look through all of the ingredients or google to see if a brand is vegan, my favorite tool is an app called ‘Is It Vegan?’. I just recently discovered this app and it is amazing! You simply scan the barcode and it tells you which ingredients are/are not vegan! It is so helpful and perfect on the go tool for when you are shopping!
How to tell if bread is healthy?
The color and the name of the bread used to be a good determinant in whether bread was healthy, however it is not so true anymore. It is best to do some research on breads ahead of time to pick out a good one! My favorite is Ezekiel bread! You should definitely check the ingredients of the bread before buying it- many breads may say whole wheat but have enriched flour as one of the primary ingredients. Look for whole wheat or whole-grain flour listed first on the product’s ingredient list. Make sure that your bread or bread product says it is 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain rather than just “wheat bread” or “multigrain bread”. So be careful and select a good brand for you! Another option would be to cook your own bread! There are tons of recipes out there so take a look!
For the Operation Health New Years Challenge - we encourage you to choose healthy options when you are buying bread! It is a simple change you can make in your diet and it will make a difference!