Why is whole-grain bread healthier than white bread?
Bread is made out of flour that comes from grain kernels — usually wheat. A grain kernel has three parts: the bran, the endosperm, and the germ (so called because it's the part of the kernel that germinates into a new plant).
Whole grains contain all parts of the grain kernel. But refined grains, like the flour used to make white bread, have had the fiber-dense bran and the nutrient-rich germ processed out, leaving only the starchy endosperm. Removing the bran and germ also removes key nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Some flour and bread manufacturers "enrich" their bread by adding extra vitamins back in. But it's still better to eat whole grains.
If you're buying packaged bread in the supermarket, be sure the label says "whole grain" or "whole wheat."
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2014
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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