And the Winner is…100% Whole Wheat

by TrainerMomma on January 27, 2010

You are at the store, juggling your kiddos, bribing them to stay seated, wondering when they learned to undo the safety buckle and you turn down the bread aisle. Suddenly, as if the two year-old wasn’t enough, you are now faced with all kinds of packages that are screaming:

Stone Ground!
Whole wheat!

Whole grain!
100% whole wheat!
Refined wheat!
Fortified bread!
Super-de-duper bread!

What gives? Is it all good for you? How do you know what to choose?

The only way to really check is to pick it up, turn it around, and read the ingredients. If the ingredients start with the word, “enriched” put it back down like a hot potato. Despite its advertising, it is not made from a whole grain, but from enriched flour.

What’s the difference? Why is enriched flour bad for you?

Whole wheat is comprised of the 3 good parts of the wheat kernel:

Germ – rich in vitamins, protein, and minerals
Endosperm – rich in protein and starch
Bran – rich in fiber and nutrients

Enriched flour, enriched whole wheat flour – whatever they want to call it – has been processed so much that it no longer uses the good parts of the whole grain. Because of this, it has been enriched with some of the nutrients that it lost during the milling process. It has been improved, but not enough.

Despite this white flour being enriched, 100% whole wheat products are STILL better for you than enriched products. Whole wheat products don’t need to be enriched, they’ve got all the nutrients you and your family need from whole grains: fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, iron, folate, Vitamin B, and more.

So, if the first ingredient says whole wheat flour — BINGO! Drop in your basket.

If it is a dark bread does that mean it is made from whole grains? NOPE! The food manufacturers are great at adding molasses or other dyes to simulate healthy – but its, alas, it is not.

Remember this when you are shopping:

whole wheat flour = GOOD! Buy it!

enriched = BAD, BAD!

I dug through my bread cupboard and freezer to see what I had around the house. We have been 100% whole wheat for quite some time now. My husband held out for a few weeks when it came to tortillas, but quickly learned to appreciate the hearty flavor of a whole wheat tortilla when that’s the only option he had.

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1 Alisa January 27, 2010 at 10:49 pm

I love wheat bread. I think all husbands are a little rebelious when we try to make healthy changes to the diet, and bread was something that I had a hard thing convincing him of. Luckily now, we get 100% whole wheat on everything.

2 RN Mama January 27, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Holy whole wheat batman! That's a lot of whole wheat! Thanks for the tip on the whole wheat, except my husband doesn't believe in whole wheat.

3 Ratliffs January 27, 2010 at 11:23 pm

What about the HFC? That's my main beef with store bought bread…

4 Vennesa January 27, 2010 at 11:49 pm

I've only found one whole wheat bread brand that doesn't have High Fructose Corn Syrup: Nature's Pride. Whenever I can find it on sale I stock up. When I can't, I make my own bread.

5 BettyBetty January 28, 2010 at 1:18 am

I don't eat bread but for my kids I have always bought whole wheat or oat – they just don't like the ones with the added seeds,nuts, pods or whatever that is mixed in. Of course they love the pepperidge farm varieties which are probably enriched and loaded with HFC – will have to read the label more closely.

6 Stephanie January 30, 2010 at 2:24 am

We LOVE the OroWheat Sandwich Thins! Fantastic taste and make great toast or sandwiches.

7 Kristi Troiani February 15, 2011 at 12:35 am

I really see what you mean, I’ve talked about this for a while now

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