What is Wholegrain Bread?

whilgeain breadOften with weight loss diets, people are scared of carbohydrates as they see them as foods which will make them fat. Similarly with bread.

On any weight loss plan or healthy eating plan we DO need carbohydrates but we need a certain type.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest that a woman consumes 6 serves of carbohydrates, cereals and grains each day.

Sounds like a lot, but really if you think about allocating the correct portion size to these 6 serves, you will get there quite quickly.

One serve of bread is one slice, so if you have a sandwich for lunch, 2 serves done. A serve of rice and a half of brown rice at dinner, rolled oats for breakfast, a rice cracker at morning tea you are basically there.

The most important point about these 6 serves (or 9 when you are breastfeeding) is that it is best to choose wholegrain varieties. The most misleading area for wholegrain products is with breads.

Some of the benefits of wholegrain products are:

  • They have a higher fibre content, which is great for digestive health and fullness.
  • Wholegrain products are also lower in glycaemic index. This means that the spike in sugars is lessened and the release of energy from the food is sustained for longer.
  • It has also been shown that the addition of twenty grams of additional fibre per day, as found in wholegrain breads, is associated with a reduction of 26% in the risk of coronary heart disease.

So what is a wholegrain product and how do you choose them in the supermarket?

The most misleading area for wholegrain products is with breads.

A wholegrain product is one which still contains the germ, the endosperm and the bran in the product. This is in contrast to a non wholegrain product or refined product which only contains the endosperm or only the bran.

For a product to have wholegrains in it, then words might be used such as:

  • Whole grain
  • Whole wheat
  • Whole (and a different grain)
  • Oats
  • Brown rice

If the words such as multigrain, wholemeal, wheat, wheat flour or organic flour are used, there may be some wholegrain in there but do not assume as they very well may be missing the key components.

Wholemeal breads contain more fibre then white breads but wholegrain bread, unless it is described as using 100% whole wheat, it very well may contained refined white flour.

Multigrain bread is often touted as being a healthier option, but it is used made from white flour with varying quantities of added grains to it. You will often find that nutritionally they are comparable to ordinary breads rather than wholegrain breads.

So have  a look at the back of your ingredients lists at the supermarket and have a look for some of these words.

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written by:

Amanda Dos Santos

Mandy is an experienced Nutritionist, food scientist and writer with over 10 years experience in the Heath industry. She has been part of the Healthy Mummy team of experts since 2012, writing informative and current blog posts and contributing to our recipe books. She has played an integral part in creating the recipes on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges since they first started in July 2014.Mandy is a mum of three and loves working for The Healthy Mummy, ”Especially on the challenges as I can create recipes which empower women to create nourishing food for themselves and their families’."