Thursday, April 3, 2008

White Bread Vs. Whole Wheat Bread

For any kid who grew up eating the white, doughy bread, making the switch to whole wheat bread can be tough!

Bread like any other part of our diet is an acquired taste. Starting out early helps since children are naturally picky eaters but if you only feed them healthy, whole grain foods, they won't have a chance to develop a taste for white bread or other non-nutritious foods.

So, what is the difference between white and whole wheat bread...........

White bread is made with enriched flour or wheat flour (notice the lack of the word "whole"). In the process of making white flour, the bran and the germ have been removed from the whole wheat grain; the bran and the germ contain most of the nutritional value. With the bran and germ lacking from white flour, white bread is lower in fiber, zinc, thiamin, niacin, trace elements and "good fats" and oils.

To top it all off, white bread is usually fortified with vitamins and minerals once they've all been removed. When foods are fortified, your body does not process the vitamins and minerals as efficiently as it would if the food was left alone to begin with. But wait! It gets better! Once all the nutrition is removed from the flour, the flour is then bleached using potassium bromate, benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide gas.

Potassium bromate is also known as potassium salt; it is an oxidizing agent and can be fatal if swallowed, harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin and it may also cause kidney damage. Yikes!

Benzoyl Peroxide is another irritant that can kill animals or cause low growth rate in plants. Yikes again!

Chlorine dioxide is a pesticide and even though it breaks down very quickly, it is ranked in the USA as one of the most hazardous compounds in the environment. Triple yikes!

By the way, just because your bread may be brown in color, doesn't necessarily mean it is whole wheat bread. Look for the ingredient name "caramel" in the list of ingredients. If it is there, your bread is dyed to a nice brown color. Don't be fooled! If the first ingredient in the ingredient list does not say "whole" wheat flour or "wholemeal", your bread is most likely made up of the enriched wheat flour or wheat flour as mentioned above.

Buy a whole wheat bread that is made up of 5 ingredients or less. You don't need added preservatives, sugar and fats. Usually, the heavier the whole wheat bread, the better it is for you. This means that the bread has been processed less which ensures more nutritional value than those light and fluffy breads that are so easy to squish!

Save the white bread for the ducks!!!!!!


Tyler Roberts said...

Interesting stuff, Wendy. Now I need you to post about Coke/Dr. Pepper so that I can have extra motivation to quit drinking that crap.

Bernardo said...

I know your jobs is not to advertise for anyone,but do you think you can send me a specific brand that is healthy to eat.

Wendizzle said...

Hi Bernardo! There are many wonderful breads out there; you just have to be careful with which ones you buy. Ezekiel is a brand of bread that is wonderful. They use sprouted 100% grains. You will find this bread in the freezer section of most health food stores. Always read the ingredient list. Stay away from breads that contain too many ingredients with additives you can't pronounce. Happy clean eating!