“You shouldn’t eat white bread because it is processed”
“Brown is better for you than white; it’s healthier”
“Brown = good carbs, White = bad carbs
These are just a few common misconceptions you may encounter on this topic but are there actually any real differences between the two? Is it really healthier to consume brown bread over white?
The answer may come as a surprise to some so read on to find out!
BROWN VS WHITE
Brown bread refers to wholemeal or whole wheat bread as it is made with large amounts of whole grain flour, usually wheat. While white bread is made from wheat flour.
You may have heard that eating bread is alright as long as you stick to whole-wheat bread. But too often then not, these claims are not backed up with any scientific studies.
The truth is, brown bread is actually no more or less healthy than white bread.
When white bread is fortified, the two are very similar in micronutrient profile. So on a nutritional level, there isn’t too much of a difference between one serving of white grain product and a single serving of one whole wheat product.
Yes, whole-wheat bread has a higher fibre content, white bread usually has 2-4 grams of fibre for two slices, whereas whole wheat tends to have 4-8 grams — but compared to that of many fruits and vegetables, there’s no contest.
If we take a look at their values on the Glycemic Index (the scale at how fast types of foods turn into glucose and raises your blood sugar levels), they both have similar values.
Whole wheat bread does have the lower glycemic index value (between 56-69) to that of white bread (70 and above), and so its consumption results in a lower insulin release, but it isn’t enough of a difference to warrant all the flack white bread gets in the media.
White bread is also often incorrectly assumed to be full of sugar, but there is actually no added sugar in bread making regardless of whether the loaf is brown or white. Natural sugars do form in the bread — fructose and maltose — during fermentation, which translates into around 1 or 2 grams of sugar per slice once baked.
There really isn’t that much of a different between the 2 breads to warrant the negativity white bread receives.
They both contain similar amounts of calories so you wont get fat (unless its consumption puts you in a caloric surplus) and neither contains high levels of fibre or micronutrients.
Of course, wholemeal bread is good, but that doesn’t make white bread bad!
- Wikipedia. 2018. Glycemic index. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index. [Accessed 19 August 2018].
- Reference. 2018. Why Is Brown Bread Healthier Than White Bread?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.reference.com/food/brown-bread-healthier-white-bread-84cbc646ead4dbe5#. [Accessed 3 September 2018].