Some year back, bread just meant white slices but today, there’s no dearth of choices with the markets flooded with multiple brands featuring different varieties of bread. While bread may not be a very healthy food option but there is no denying that it is nearly impossible to think of an easier breakfast that does not involve bread. So, why not chose the healthiest of the lot?
Bread is made by baking dough made from flour and water. It’s interesting to understand that the flour is made from processing the whole grain. The whole grain primarily consists of 3 parts-
-Bran:rich in fiber
-Endosperm: rich in carbohydrates, fat and protein
The difference in different varieties of breads available is based on how this whole grain is processed and refined and what remains in the end.
To make things easier,let us compare the 3 most commonly consumed breads: white bread, brown bread and whole grain or whole wheat bread
1 . WHITE BREAD
-During the refining process of the whole grain, the bran and germ is removed and what is left is mainly the starchy endosperm.
-This means that the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber are all removed from the white bread.
-Moreover, white bread has added sugars and high fructose corn syrup as well which significantly increases the glycemic index.
– White bread is one of the unhealthiest food items to have on your list if you are on a weight loss regime since it inevitably leads to weight gain.
-Caloric content per slice is approximately 66Kcal.
White bread is one of the most unhealthiest options for breakfast that may increase your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, worsens diabetes and may gradually lead to heart diseases.
2 . BROWN BREAD
-Brown bread is a mixture of refined flour (maida) and whole wheat flour which is atta.
-Most of the bran and germ is removed during the refining process. Some portion of the endosperm is also discarded from the flour.
-The brown color of the bread is not at all coming from the healthy wheat as you are made to believe from the look of it. On the contrary, what is added is burnt/ caramelized sugar to the refined flour which gives it the brown color and it is an even unhealthier option.
-Caloric content per slice is about 75 Kcal.
In comparison to a white bread slice, it has lesser carbohydrates and marginally higher fiber content.But it is still not a very healthy option.
3 . WHOLE WHEAT OR WHOLE GRAIN BREAD
-During the milling procedure of the whole grain, the germ and bran are left intact in a 100 %whole wheat bread which makes it a healthier option.
-The germ is rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin B, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, folate and essential omega 3 fatty acids.
-The bran is high on fiber which keeps you full for long, prevents constipation and also helps in weight management.
-It is also low on glycemic index and prevents hike in your blood sugar levels.
-Whole wheat bread also provides protein in a good amount which is almost lacking in white/ brown bread.
-While purchasing a whole wheat bread, be sure that it is a 100% whole wheat bread as all other whole wheat breads will have no notable difference in glycemic index as compared to other breads.
-Caloric content per slice is about 66Kcal.
In comparison to white bread and brown bread it is high on protein, fiber content and less on fat content. More importantly, it has a much lower glycemic index than white / brown bread. It also contains vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. This makes it the healthiest option out of the 3 types of breads.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
-Many bread manufacturers bleach the bread during their manufacturing with harmful chemicals like toxic chlorine dioxide, potassium bromated, potassium iodate, benzoyl peroxide.
-Make sure that the bread you choose is devoid of these toxic chemicals.
-The other varieties of fancy breads available like multi-grain are just a mere eye wash.
-All that is done differently during their manufacturing is the sprinkling of the softened grains on top of the processed bread which doesn’t make much difference to its nutritional value.
-It is best to replace breads with healthier eating options for breakfast and snacks. If you cannot do without it, pick the right one like whole wheat bread.
-Do not get fooled by the color the bread possesses, read between the lines in the ingredients and make sure it reads: “100% whole wheat” or “whole grain” or you will just end up eating refined flour with no nutritional value and high glycemic index.
So, next time you go for your grocery shopping, dont just pick a fancy bread assuming it is healthy, but pay closer attention to its ingredients and choose the one that is healthiest. Eat healthy! Stay Healthy with 1mg!