Eating healthy is trendy for sure, making brown bread the popular choice with most consumers. Yes, with all the information out there, brown bread would certainly seem like a healthy choice over white bread, but while that may be true, is brown bread really a healthy food? Or, is it just a little less unhealthy as compared to regular white bread?
What’s Really In Your Brown Bread
While you might vouch for the color, keep in mind – just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge your food solely by its color! Brown bread’s color is often nothing more than the product of caramelized sugar or brown dye added to white bread slices. While this may give it the appearance of something healthy and nutritious, that isn’t really the case. The healthy perception of brown bread is actually nothing more than a marketing gimmick by manufacturers to sell those loaves of bread. If you think brown bread is going to impart you with good nutrition then beware! Ditch this unhealthy version of bread and embrace healthier options, but most importantly learn to read the food labels more closely.
The Hidden Truth Behind Brown Bread Labels
1. Enriched With Whole Grains/With Goodness Of Whole Grains
This certainly sounds impressive and nutritious, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, you are once again being deceived by food manufacturers! Manufactures use such terms to drive more and more people towards their brands, while doing the bare minimum to improve food quality. So, ultimately the core ingredient in these breads is nothing but refined flour and a smaller portion of those healthy whole grains. Until and unless it is labeled as 100% whole wheat or grain, don’t reach out to grab that loaf.
2. Multigrain breads (4/8/12/16 different types of grains)
On the face of it, these brown bread products appear to be really healthy, dominated by text about the goodness of multi-grains, but you’d do well to read the fine print. If you look at the food labels closely, you’ll find that multi-grains have just been sprinkled and mixed with copious amounts of refined flour. The next time you’re shopping for bread you’ll know better than to buy these products.
3. Added Wheat /Oats/Ragi Flour
The word ‘’added’’ should come as a clear warning sign that the product is not made entirely of wheat, ragi, or oats. In fact, there’s little other than refined flour in these brown bread varieties. Read the label closely again. If the quantity of the added flour has not be mentioned, you can safely assume that it contains at least 75% ‘’maida’’ and just 25% added wheat or ragi flour, hence it’s best avoided.
Are There Any Healthy Bread Choices?
While all of this information on the truth about brown bread may fill you with despair, not all bread has to be unhealthy. Here are some healthy bread varieties that you can use instead of those store bought white or brown bread packets.
Rye bread is a great option as compared to its unhealthy counterparts. Though difficult to find on most supermarket shelves, this bread contains a good amount of fiber, which satiates you and keeps you full for longer durations. It is also a great source of magnesium and does not cause insulin spikes, making it a great option for diabetics. Rye bread has a peculiar nutty flavor, which actually adds to its appeal and it can also help keep your weight in check.
Spelt Grain Bread
Spelt grain is again a distant relative of wheat, but is slightly sweeter in taste. Just like rye, spelt too has a nutty flavor and is endowed with fiber and essential nutrients like phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, folate, and thiamine. If you really love your sliced bread, then opt for this healthier option rather without having to stray too far from texture and taste you love.
Bake Your Own Bread
If you’re serious about eating healthy and really love bread, the best thing that you can do would be to bake a loaf of bread with different types of healthy flours available in the market. Try adding buckwheat (kuttu), ragi flour, bajra, and oats to your loaf of bread, as all of these ingredients are packed with fiber and essential nutrients.
Now that you know the whole truth about packaged bread and have plenty of healthy bread alternatives, we hope that you can make better choices for yourself and your family. If you must by packaged breads, don’t fool yourself into believing that they are healthy at the very least!
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