Buying the best bread type isn’t as simple as it used to be. With so many loaves on the market, it can sometimes be confusing to separate the jargon and find the best bread for you. While we all want healthy bread, it sometimes comes with a sacrifice of taste. It’s also getting harder and harder to distinguish which bread is high in what, and how they’re really contributing to your dietary intake.
We wanted to help you with this dilemma, creating a simple guide that can help you to distinguish the pros and cons, answering the question once and for all: Which bread is best?
All wheat grains can be sub-divided into three sections:
- The bran, which is the exterior husk, constitutes 15% of the grain and is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
- The core comprises over 80% of the grain, formed by an endosperm that houses proteins and carbohydrates.
- The rest of the wheat grain consists of the germ, which also contains a significant amount of fat, minerals, protein and vitamins.
So many people grew up on white bread— it is a staple of so many Australian pantries. White bread is made from wheat that has been milled to remove the outer layers of the grain, resulting in a white flour substance that retains around 30-50% less fibre than its whole meal or grain counterparts. It is generally high GI, which means carbs are quickly absorbed, which can lead to an increased blood sugar level.
While it mightn’t be the most effective bread for weight loss, there are often circumstances where kids just will not let go of the white bread they know and love. In these circumstances, it is important to reach for the hi-fibre and low GI varieties. These brands have added nutrients like hi-maize, a type of starch that is added in an attempt to increase the nutritional value of white bread.
The verdict: While the least nutritious choice for kids and adults, white bread is a good way to introduce your children to bread consumption.
While white bread is made of solely endosperm, brown bread contains the fibre rich, nutritious parts of the wheat grain. Not only does this make it significantly better for you than white bread, it also goes through dramatically less processing. While white bread is sometimes treated and bleached with chemicals, brown bread goes through little to no artificial enhancement.
One of the most important features of brown bread is the number of B vitamins it contains, from thiamine to niacin and riboflavin; this helps the body to acquire energy from food. It also contains foliate, pantothenic acid, as well as vitamins E and K. The high fibre content also assists in regular bowel movement, keeping stool soft.
The verdict: Brown bread is a healthier alternative to white bread, as it retains a lot of the same tastes and textures. However, it should still be consumed in moderation.
Wholegrain bread is high in nutrient-rich grains, as well as having a generally low IG to promote slow digestion and a feeling of fullness. As the name suggests, wholegrain bread relies heavily on grains, including whole wheat, rye and oats. The regular consumption of this bread has been linked to the reduction of some health conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, making it the best bread for weight loss.
Wholegrain bread contains three types of fibers: resistant starch, soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. It is also a very rich source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, protein, iron, vitamin E and magnesium.
The verdict: Multigrain bread is the best choice for everyday consumption, promoting a nutrient-rich balance that leaves you fuller for longer.