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Healthy Breakfast: Whole-Wheat Bread vs. Multigrain Bread

May 16, 2010

In order to have a productive day, you need a healthy breakfast. Toast is a staple of the most important meal of the day. However, it can be difficult to know which bread offers you the most health benefits and can help you create a well-rounded, heart healthy diet. Though multigrain bread is all the rage these days, research suggests that whole wheat bread may be healthier for you. In fact, experts recommend that adults eat at least three servings of whole grain products, such whole wheat bread a day. Here are some of the ways that whole wheat bread differs from multigrain.

Whole Grain Contains More Essential Nutrients

The term "whole grain" refers to flour that is made from all parts of the wheat grain kernel--the bran, germ and endosperm. The bran and germ are the most nutritious parts of the wheat grain. They contain vitamin B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, cooper, iron and dietary fiber. During the refinement process, the majority of these nutrients get lost. Multigrain bread is made from a variety of different types of grains, such as wheat, oat and barley. However, unless the label indicates that a product is made from whole grain, your multigrain bread may be made of refined flour and missing the key nutrients found in the bran and germ.

Whole Grains Take Longer to Get Absorbed into the Body

Eating a diet full of whole grains can reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease. It takes the body longer to absorb whole grain products like whole wheat bread. The slower absorption rate prevents sharp rises in sugar and insulin levels. If multigrain bread is not whole grain, it gets absorbed by the body at a quicker rate and could spike insulin levels.

Whole Grains Have More Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is a crucial part of any weight loss regime. Soluble fiber slows down the digestive process, allowing the food to spend more time in the digestive tract and increasing the amount of nutrients absorbed into the body. Fiber also creates a feeling of fullness, making you less likely to over indulge. Fiber can also reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Whole wheat bread has a ton of dietary fiber, as the majority of the fiber is found in the germ. However, most multigrain bread is refined and does not have the fiber content of whole wheat.

Whole Wheat Bread is a Great Source of Complex Carbohydrates

Your body needs sufficient fuel to get through challenging workouts. Whole wheat bread is a great source of complex carbohydrates. A few slices of wheat bread can give your body the energy it needs to get through even the most grueling exercise routines. Unless it is made with whole grain, multigrain bread is full of simple carbohydrates. These carbs take less time to process and are quickly converted into glucose.

Multigrain vs. Whole Wheat

If you're looking to lose weight and build muscle, whole wheat bread is the safest and smartest food choice. Multigrain may sound appealing. However, unless it's made with whole grains, it has the same nutritional value as processed white bread.

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