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Whole Wheat Bread vs. White Bread

There are two main differences when it comes to whole wheat bread and white bread, which are the methods by which they are processed and how nutritious both are for the human body. Both whole wheat bread and white bread come from flour that is made from wheat berries but the process by which they are prepared is different. Wheat berries contain three nutrient- rich elements, which are the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The bran is the outer layer of the wheat while the germ is the inner layer and the endosperm is the middle part that is starchy in nature. Whole wheat bread is made with all three parts left in while white bread, which is processed with white flour, only includes the starchy endosperm. Whole wheat bread by far is the more nutritious of the two as it very high in many things such as vitamins B6 and vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, chromium, folic acid and zinc.

The value of fiber

When looking at the nutritious elements that go into whole wheat bread, what makes it the biggest winner over white bread is fiber. According to a University of Washington report that came out in The Journal of the American Medical Association on April 2, 2003 by making the switch from white to whole wheat bread an individual can lower their risk of heart disease by 20 percent. Fiber helps to decrease the risk of both heart attacks as well as strokes. Fiber is very good for the digestive tract and it helps people to either maintain an adequate weight or to lose some pounds. By eating fiber-dense whole wheat bread a person feels full sooner and therefore consumes less food.

Is enriched white bread healthy?

If you look closely at a loaf of white bread it is likely to contain the word "enriched" on the package. Many consumers mistakenly believe that that means that nutrients that were lost during the refinement process were put back in. This unfortunately is not the case. When flour is refined to make bread and bread products this causes the most nutritious elements of the grain to disappear, which includes the essential fatty acids, the fiber, and the majority of the vitamins and minerals.

At closer inspection, approximately 30 nutrients are lost during the refinement process. According to the law only five minerals need to be put back in white bread and these include folic acid, iron, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. In some cases even more vitamins and minerals are put back into the wheat. Very little fiber is included in white bread. Nutritional experts say that it is necessary to eat eight pieces of white bread in order to get the necessary fiber that is part of only one slice of whole wheat bread. Always look for “whole wheat” or “whole grain” as the very first ingredient listed on a bread label and if that is not what the label says then put it back on the shelf.

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