By Dr. Janet Brill
Q: When it comes to choosing a healthy bread, is whole grain white any different from regular whole wheat bread?
A: The definition of “whole grain white” bread or flour is nebulous at best. It is a fairly new product that can consist of virtually anything, but generally comprises a mixture of 100% whole grain and white flour. The white wheat comes from an albino variety of wheat that differs from the traditional red wheat kernels. Furthermore, the white wheat is more heavily processed than the 100% whole grain flour to make the product taste more like its refined cousins, though the jury is still out regarding exactly how much nutrition is lost in the processing.
The product is marketed to regular consumers of white bread who want to consume more whole grains for the health benefits but just can’t quite take the plunge to eating 100% whole grain products. So, for those people, the new “white wheat” products are a better choice than refined white bread products. The bottom line is, nutrition-wise, your best bet is to routinely go for the 100% whole wheat products that have been less processed, contain all three parts of the original wheat kernel and have been shown scientifically to help prevent chronic disease.