You’ve probably been under the impression for a while that brown bread is a lot healthier than white bread. That’s the general consensus, right? But is it really the case? In this article, we’re going to look at the health benefits of both brown bread and white bread, along with the negatives associated with them. So if you want to know more about the health benefits of two different types of bread, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading for all the info you need, so you can make an informed decision about which is right for you.
There’s an important thing to remember when looking at which foods are healthier than others. It often depends on the person, both their metabolism along with other eating conditions. Some people simply can’t eat certain types of bread. Maybe they’re gluten intolerant, wheat intolerant, or something else. But for people without those conditions, a healthy eating lifestyle often has a lot of emphasis on moderation. Even if a huge amount of bread can be too much for someone, having a bit of it, even less-healthy bread, as part of a moderate healthy lifestyle can still be acceptable. But which bread is more healthy, brown or white? Let’s have a look…
Health benefits of brown bread
You probably already consider brown bread as the healthy alternative. Remember, there are many different types of brown bread (and white bread). So this isn’t always the case. But generally, brown bread is considered to have more nutrients and more “good stuff” in it, while having fewer negatives. But what are the actual benefits associated with brown bread?
Before we go straight to the benefits of brown bread, let’s understand a bit more about what goes into it. Firstly, unlike white bread, brown bread is made from whole grains. These have been part of people’s diet for thousands of years and are associated with a number of key benefits. Unfortunately, white bread is made from highly-refined grains which don’t have as many benefits and have some serious drawbacks, but we’ll get to white bread in a bit.
Whole grains are made up from kernels which have three parts. These are bran, endosperm and germ. The bran contains fiber, antioxidants and a number of minerals. The endosperm has the carbs in it, and the germ contains a load of vitamins, more minerals and plant compounds, as well as protein.
Brown bread isn’t the only thing that contains these whole grains. You can also get brown rice, brown pasta and lots of other things that are much more nutrient-packed than their refined counterparts. These whole grains are high in a number of key nutrients like fiber, vitamin B, zinc, iron, magnesium, protein and a range of antioxidants.
Now that we know a bit more about what goes into brown bread, how are these nutrients, minerals and vitamins generally beneficial to your health?
Firstly, the nutrients in brown bread can help lower your risk of heart disease. Not only that, but studies have also suggested that brown bread can lower your risk of stroke. That’s because they’re high in fiber as well as vitamin K and a number of antioxidants.
Aside from heart and stroke help, brown bread is also generally a good idea as a replacement for white bread if you’re trying to lose weight. Lots of studies have shown that it can help fight obesity. Whole grains are more filling than refined ones, keeping you full for longer and stopping you from eating more.
Brown bread is also good for reducing the risk of diabetes. The whole grains and weight-control benefits of brown bread can impact blood sugar levels.
If you have digestion issues, the whole grains in brown bread can also help. They’re good for your stools and general digestion thanks to the fiber found in them. They can also act as probiotics, feeding your gut with good bacteria.
Other benefits of brown bread include reducing chronic inflammation as well as cancer-preventing properties. As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to brown bread!
What about white bread?
The problem with white bread is that it has had some of those three parts removed from the kernels. Remember the bran, endosperm and germ? Refined grains (that’s what you get in white bread) have had the bran and germ removed, leaving only the endosperm. That means carbs, without much of the good stuff—minerals and vitamins.
However, some refined grains have had a few vitamins and minerals added back into them, so they aren’t completely without benefit. But it’s still agreed that they aren’t nearly as healthy as whole grains.
It’s also important to remember that the body does need carbs, so white bread isn’t completely worthless or bad for you. They can be a source of carbs as well as some additional added minerals and vitamins. But they really aren’t as healthy as whole grains. and therefore white bread generally isn’t as good for you as brown bread. After all, most people get far too many carbs anyway, so if your bread is just a source of carbs and that’s all—it’s not doing too much for you.
But that doesn’t mean white bread should be shunned altogether. As we looked at earlier, anything (within reason) is fine in moderation. You don’t need to completely stop eating white bread as long as you don’t eat too much. Develop a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t have too much of anything in it, and make sure you get all the right vitamins and nutrients that your body needs.
In saying that, if you’re asking which is more healthy out of brown and white bread, then the answer is clearly brown bread. White bread can still be part of a healthy diet, but it simply isn’t packed with the same nutrients, vitamins and minerals as brown bread. Those nutrients come with a ton of benefits for your health, as we’ve seen.