Craving a slice of carbs, but still want to make a healthy choice? Take Hilton Head Health’s Registered Dietitian, Felicia Spence’s advice here:
White bread is stripped of its nutrients. The whole grain, which contains three parts (the bran, endosperm, and germ), is processed down leaving just the endosperm. The endosperm is the part of the grain that provides the calories but with small amounts of nutrients. Processing reduces the protein amount by 25% and strips the grain of 17 nutrients. Enriching adds back five nutrients that include B vitamins, Iron and Folate but not everything that is processed out. The bran is what provides us with the bulk of the fiber from whole grains and the germ contains healthy fats and some protein. Taking those two parts out diminishes its health benefits.
White breads are fluffy and light because there is less fiber. Fiber is the roughage in plant foods, so removing it from the bread makes it softer to chew. Breads containing fiber may be more course or provide a new texture.
100% whole wheat bread is the intact grain that gets milled down and made into products like bread and pastas. Whole means that all three parts of the grain are used (bran, endosperm, and germ). Because of this, the product will provide increased fiber, protein, and healthy fat intake to fill you up faster and keep you fuller longer. Typically breads that are more whole tend to have more calories. Do not let this stop you! The increase in calories coming from protein and healthy fats provides a better quality nutrition source, more satisfying for your overall health.
Also, just because the bread is brown does not mean it is 100% whole. If it says “whole wheat”, read the ingredients to see if it says “enriched”. Enriched will mean that it has been processed and nutrients have been added back in.
At H3 we serve a sprouted grain bread. Sprouted grains are intact whole grains that have started the germination process. There is a perfect balance between time, temperature and moisture to make a grain sprout. The nutrients that are found in sprouted grains are more bioavailable than un-sprouted grains, making it a best option for bread purchasing. Key nutrients that increase with sprouting include B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, and an essential amino acid-lysine. People that have grain sensitivities may be able to tolerate consuming sprouted grain breads. H3 recommends Food for Life brand that sells Ezekiel Bread. This bread line carries a variety of options like breads, English muffins, and tortillas. It is found in the frozen section and can easily be put into the fridge for quick access.
A great resource to learn more about whole grains is ‘Oldways Whole Grain Council” at https://wholegrainscouncil.org/.