There are few aromas in my opinion that trump the smell of freshly baked breads. I would have to say this is perhaps one of my most beloved food on this planet and my last meal would have to include bread of some kind. When entering a grocery store, this perhaps is my favorite section but it’s also one of the most confusing to understand especially with all the different grain types out there. This doesn’t even include the different kinds of breads such as bread rolls, french bread, or bread sticks. So in this blog post I simplify the process and explain in plain English what some of these differences are and the impact they have on your health.
Lets start with talking about what makes a bread bread. Bread is made using wheat kernels or wheat berries. These kernels are made up of three parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. In different kinds of breads parts of the wheat kernels are removed in processing them to flour. Hence this is why some breads are contain more nutrients. Now lets discuss how this affects breads and lets begin with white bread.
White Bread: Well white bread is exactly what it sounds like, bread that looks white. This has been a staple for me growing up but until recently I have made the switch to a healthier type of bread. This bread contains flour that has been “enriched” through various chemicals and bleaching processes giving this bread a longer shelf life. During this process, most of oil and B vitamins are removed from the bread. In this kind of bread, the bran and germ part of the wheat kernel is removed. This is why white bread is the the bread that has the least amount of nutrients of all the breads. In fact when eating this bread, it dissolves in your body as sugar. So it’s almost like your eating candy instead. Crazy right?
Wheat Bread: This type of bread is brown in appearance and is generally regarded as healthier than white bread. But be careful that this bread is often disguised in the United States as whole wheat bread. In reality it is nothing more than white bread that has received its caramel color through additional coloring. So in reality its the twin brother, or more like its fraternal twin since they technically don’t resemble each other figuratively speaking.
Whole Grain Bread: This is the real deal when it comes to wheat bread or any kind of bread for that matter. Unlike white bread this bread contains all three parts of the wheat kernel. So this bread keeps the oils, vitamins, and fiber intact in the bread. Plus in comparison to white bread it tends to have fewer calories and less carbs per serving. When shopping for this kind of bread, most of the time it will end up being a bit pricier than most other breads. Taste wise it might be hard to get use to at first so don’t go in with high expectations like I did or you may be disappointed.
This little guy would be the equivalent of a little brother trying to outdo and replicate what its big brother, whole wheat bread, has already done. This type of bread is often referred to as the 7 or 12 grain bread because of the different kinds of grains it may contain. Unlike whole wheat bread that only has one kind of grain, multi-grain bread can contain grains from various different sources such as flax, oats, or buckwheat. In terms of nutrition its slightly better than white bread but still below whole wheat bread.
There you have it. Some more knowledge you can take with you the next time you are picking the perfect bread for your next batch of sandwiches or grilled cheese. So I’m curious to know what kind of bread you prefer? And please don’t tell me that it “would depend” just to play it safe . You must choose one type of bread you like best and why. Feel free to leave your comment below or follow me on twitter.