Brown bread is not healthy. It does worse than your regular white sandwich bread.
Surprised?? I was too.
Wanting to eat healthy food, many of us have switched to brown bread. Unfortunately, you may be feeding yourself white bread with added ingredients for color, such as caramel.
The switch you should actually make is to include whole wheat bread in your plan of a healthy diet.
Why Whole Wheat Bread
When we talk about healthy living, the first step we take is to include a healthy diet. We try to include items that are high in nutrition in our diet. We start eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. So, why not make our bread - whole wheat?? And why just bread, you can bake your desserts with whole wheat and eat healthy desserts.
Let us first see, how whole wheat bread adds to the nutrition in our diet.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in our body. Our body needs 200 mg/dl of cholesterol. This amount is produced by our body itself. That is why it is advisable to consume low-cholesterol food. Consuming high-cholesterol food may result in diabetes, high blood pressure and increased risk of a heart attack.
100 gms of whole wheat bread contains about 26 percent of protein. Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body which help in the growth and development of tissues. For 1 kilogram of your body weight, you need 0.8 gms of protein to be fit and healthy. A healthy diet starts with protein-rich food.
Fiber helps to regulate the body's use of sugar. Eating high-fiber food helps in controlling weight, at the same time, giving the required nutrition for a healthy and balanced diet. A healthy adult should consume a minimum of 25-30 gms of fiber each day to remain fit lifelong. 100 gms of whole wheat bread contains 28 percent of fiber.
When planning to start a healthy diet, we tend to cut down fats. Instead of cutting down fats, it is much better to include foods that are low-fat and highly nutritious. Food items made from whole grains are the best fit when planning a healthy diet.
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Benefits of Whole Wheat Bread on Health
Now, that you know whole wheat bread is highly nutritive and highly recommended for a balanced diet, you would want to know what does whole wheat bread actually does to your health. Are there any health benefits of including whole grains or whole wheat items in your diet?
The answer is, "a big yes". There are numerous health benefits of having a diet which comprises of whole grains. To list a few:
- Women who eat whole grains weigh less than women who don't.
- Fiber from wholegrain, especially whole wheat is protective against Breast Cancer; which is very common these days.
- The more whole grains in your diet, the lesser is the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Patients with Type 2 Diabetes are made to eat items made from whole grains. Whole wheat bread is the best option for such people.
- Whole wheat prevents gall stones. There are about 10 million-plus cases of gallstones every year in India.
- Whole grains aid in digestion. The best solution to fight constipation.
- Whole grains strengthen the immune system, making it stronger and less tolerant of diseases.
- Whole grains fight cholesterol, thus regulating the cholesterol levels of the body and reducing any further risks.
- Consumption of items made from whole wheat helps to treat all cardiac and heart-related issues.
- Whole grains make you feel full, therefore, automatically controlling your hunger.
- Whole wheat bread or whole wheat items are rich in calcium, thus, keeping the bones and joints healthy and strong.
- Whole grains maintain the blood-sugar levels of the body, hence, overall metabolism is maintained.
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Difference between White bread and Whole Wheat bread
Whole wheat bread is surely a notch higher than white bread, but how exactly?? Where does the difference lie? Are there any similarities, or not?? How is whole wheat bread different from white bread? Is the difference only in nutrition level or is there any other major difference as well??
I know, you must be wondering about all these questions. But don't worry, I will answer them one by one.
Let us first understand the basic difference between white bread and whole-wheat bread. There are two major differences; first, how the bread is processed and second, how healthy the bread is.
The flour or Atta for both is made from wheat grain. Wheat grain has three nutrient-rich parts:
- The bran (the outer layer)
- The germ (the innermost area)
- The endosperm (the starchy part in between)
The flour of whole wheat bread contains all three parts of the wheat grain, the bran, the germ, and the endosperm, while white bread contains only the innermost starchy layer, the endosperm. As whole wheat bread contains all parts of the grain, none of the nutrition is lost.
White bread contains mostly a refined (or processed) grain, only the endosperm or the starchy part which means that it has lost many of the necessary nutrients during processing. As white bread is processed food, it contains less amount of fiber and other nutrients than whole wheat bread.
So, not only there is a nutritional difference between white bread and whole-wheat bread, and the processing and manufacturing are also different.
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Benefits of substituting white bread with whole wheat bread
Now that, we know the basic difference, let us see, the health benefits of substituting white bread with whole wheat bread.
- Simply, switching from white bread to whole wheat bread can lower the risk of heart diseases by 20 percent.
- You will have to eat 8 slices of white bread to get the fiber in 1 slice of whole wheat bread.
- Processed food increases the risk of diabetes, whereas whole grains are advised by dieticians to diabetic patients.
- For 100 gms, white bread has 265 calories whereas whole wheat bread has only 247 calories.
- White bread destabilizes the blood sugar levels while whole grains maintain it.
- Being high in fiber, whole wheat bread quickly makes you feel full compared to white bread.
- When it comes to weight loss, whole grains and whole wheat bread are preferred anytime, over, white bread.
- White bread adds cholesterol in our bodies, while whole wheat bread has 0 percent cholesterol.
- People who have whole wheat bread for breakfast stay more energetic than people who eat white bread.
- A person consuming white bread is at a higher risk of hypertension or high blood pressure than a person consuming whole wheat bread.
White bread does more harm than good, by providing excess calories and fewer nutrients. A healthy diet begins with making simple changes, one of which is switching white bread to whole wheat bread.
Is brown bread a substitute for whole wheat bread?
Is there any other substitute for white bread? Many of you might already know about brown bread. Many of you, might even be including it, to make your diet more healthy and balanced. But, are you sure, if, brown bread is the healthiest bread of all? Are you sure you are getting all the nutrients from the brown bread you get in the stores or supermarkets? What are brown bread benefits?
In one of my recent workshops, a student said, "Whole wheat bread is brown bread, no difference at all." And I realized, many home bakers believe this misconception. Do you also think so? How can brown bread be different from whole wheat bread?
The brown bread which you get from supermarkets is not necessarily whole wheat bread. I prefer to bake my own bread, I will tell you why.
However, brown bread sold in the markets, most of the time are made from the same flour as that of white bread; to make it look brown, and ingredients such as caramel are added. Caramel is not only low in nutrition but also high in calories. Therefore, brown bread brought from markets may result in the exact opposite of what you are aiming for. Instead of actually eating healthy, you are tricked into eating high-calorie and low-nutrition food.
The next time, someone asks you, "Which is the healthiest bread?" Say, "Whole wheat bread, not brown bread."
You end up spending extra money, but still cannot be sure if your family is actually having a healthy diet.
Therefore, I prefer to bake my own bread. It is simple, and a guarantee that all the nutrients are preserved and my family is having a healthy and balanced meal.
Many people are scared of baking at home and not just that, many of the seasoned bakers say that 100% whole wheat baking is not possible. But those who have attended my workshop, know that it is not true.
You can also master the art of baking with whole wheat and start baking your own bread at home.