IF you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know we advocate eating whole grain breads. In our five part bread minisereies back in November, we tried to cover the seemingly simple task of choosing bread at the supermarket.
While some breads are easy to classify as healthy (100% whole grains) and others as not (white breads made with refined flours), what happens when you come a bread that’s made with flour that is both white and 100% whole grain?
On the one hand white means refined, but on the other it says 100% whole grain.
What you need to know:
The flour used for our bread comes from several varieties that are grown in the US:
- Hard Red Spring
- Hard Red Winter
- Hard White
- Soft Red Winter
- Soft White
Each one has certain characteristics, including color, protein content, gluten content, among others.
The difference between white whole-wheat bread and regular whole-wheat bread is in the type of wheat flour used. Regular whole-wheat bread is made with red wheat, which is dark in color and has a slightly bitter taste. White whole-wheat bread is made with a relatively new variety of wheat, which is lighter in color and has a sweeter, milder flavor.This variety is much more common in the UK.
Buyer beware: you still need to look for bread with 100% WHOLE WHEAT. In the above image, Wonder boasts
Made with Whole Grain White
But if you take a look at the ingredient list, you’ll see refined flour as the main ingredient, not the whole grain white.
What to do at the supermarket:
Don’t rely on the writing on the package itself to choose the best bread or other baked product. Carefully read the ingredient list and look for 100% Whole Grain Flour as the first and only flour ingredient. If there are additional flours in the list, they should be whole grains as well.
(Thanks Jess for suggesting this topic!)