T Nation

Bread - White or Whole Wheat


Can somebody clarify something to me. My mom mentioned it to me and honestly, I was speechless as I couldn't give a rational answer.

She pulled out these "Thomas's" WHITE rolls/bagel things. She showed me the calories and stuff and then she pulled out the whole wheat bread that she eats, and one piece of that bread had less fiber and more sugar than the white roll.

Since she's dieting she doesn't see why she would eat 1 piece of wheat bread when she can have a white roll/bagel thing.

Can someone explain this to me? If whole wheat is "better" then why is it when you look at the calories and stuff of that nature it pans out to be a bit worse than the white bread?

And just so everyone knows, I only eat ezekiel bread. I think both of those breads are shit.


Because its probably some Honey coated, half ass, "Wheat" wheat bread. Turn it over, look at the ingredients. Some breads are made with a combination of white and whole wheat flour, just like Caesin protein and whey, and the ingredient list will list both. What happens is if the majority of it is composed of 1 thing, and we are talking 51/49 %, then by law they can label it as that one thing on the package. ALWAYS read ingredients.


Basically what Akuma said. There are few actually good whole wheat breads. But if you are gonna buy it, you HAVE to check the ingredients. You're eating Ezekiel bread so I assume you know what to look for... decent ingredient list, high fiber, etc.


Wholegrain in America is a joke. Its cake with caramel or raisin coloring with just enough whole grains to get the whole grain stamp.

Even if it is in fact made with 100% whole grains, it is still not very high in fiber, and usually has a lot of sugar and other crap in it, because the american consumer demands his bread to be like cake. Back in Denmark i eat rye bread and knækbrød (or whatever the english name is), which is both wonderfully tasting and very high in fiber and good stuff, since it is basically only made from whole rye and water.


Read this...



depends on your situation, if your very overweight and eating alot of white bread, switching to whole wheat is a good start, if your already in good shape adding in whole wheat bread would not be a good decision.


The wheat bread (I'm assuming) should still be slow digesting carbs, resulting in less of an insulin spike.


I recall Doc Lowery writing somewhere about the BS-WHole Wheat PR that you hear about non-stop in mainstream media, and that for most health conscious people (ie. those that regularly see the insides of a gym, LIKE US), it would almost be a step backward in our progress using "whole wheat" bread, and thinking it's helping out.



The roll/bagel thing might just be less junky than the regular bread slice due to other aspects of the way it's made. Many bagels, for instance, have like zero fiber.

When shopping for bread, I just look at three things on the back:
- calories
- fiber
- sugars

Fiber is a good bogey for how "wholegrainey" it is, and sugar is a good estimate for how much added crap is in it.


If she is dieting, why not just skip the bagged bread entirely?
She could always eat rye crisp, wasa bread etc.
Or Ezekial bread.

The whole grains in bagged commercial bread are ground so fine that they might as well not even be there.
Remember, Corn Pops and Fruit Loops are made with whole grains too. Doesn't mean they are even remotely good for you.


As a rule of thumb, avoid bread, pasta, and cereals. Much easier to just do it that way.


i can believe that, my fat loss stalled i swapped the "whole wheat bread" out for oats and fat started coming off again.


Be a good boy and bake your mom some flax bread :wink: lol (Really tasty by the way).




Bread made from 100% whole wheat IS vastly different than typical soft white sandwich or "French"-style bread. 100% WW is dramatically higher in fiber, including the insoluble bran kind, and much higher in vitamins and minerals, especially shortly after it is milled. Just check the USDA Nutrient database to see the difference.

Whole wheat is a good source of magnesium, a very important mineral that is hard to get the RDA from diet. Whole grains and legumes are the richest sources of magnesium. In fact, I think it's very hard to get recommended amounts of fiber and magnesium without supplementing unless I eat whole grains and legumes.

I truly don't see why oats, or Ezekiel bread, are "clean" foods to some people, but not a good-quality loaf of artisan sourdough.

So I eat bread. I usually make it myself, or, if I buy it, I read the label, and buy good quality. It is hard to find 100% WW bread that doesn't have the taste and texture of sawdust. And that includes Ezekiel bread IMO. I make artisan bread with 100% WW flour, freshly milled, that is delicious. I also think sourdough or other slow-fermented artisan breads are perfectly fine, and I make and eat them regularly.

When non-BB people ask me for diet advice, I often show them how to find 100% whole wheat products by reading the label, and tell them to stick to 100% WW and avoid everything made with "wheat flour." Eliminating refined wheat flour eliminates an awful lot of processed calorie-dense crap most people eat.

100% whole wheat products are much more self-regulating; they just aren't as tasty, so people don't overeat them. So I think it's a useful guideline for the general population, IF they can get a handle on what 100% whole wheat means despite the industry's tricky labeling.


Therein lies the problem. Most people pick up any commercial bagged bread that says 100% whole wheat and think they are doing themselves a favor. Most prepared breakfast cereals are labeled "whole grains", which we all know is a load of crap. Not only is the labeling deceitful, they are now pushing sugar cereals on kids by claiming they have 2 g of fiber and are healthy.
Making your own bread from true whole grains or buying artisan bread that resembles the "staff of life" that was a mainstay in peoples diets hundreds of years ago cannot be compared to bagged commercial bread, and it's the small minority of people out there who take the time to understand that. Oats and Ezekial bread are readily available in most grocery stores and are easy to identify, so for the average dieter it's much simpler than trying to explain how to read the nutrient information on commercial breads and cereals. The majority simply see the one ingredient they think it healthy and ignore the rest.
Case in point is my boss. She is chowing down on a protein bar every morning because it has 30 grams of protein and is pretty proud of herself. Looking at the label, the bars are full of refined sugars and a ton of other crap, but hey, she is getting a lot of protein therefore she is eating healthy in her mind.




thanks for the link K-Man that looks great!


Well, I think if a commercial loaf of bread says "100% whole wheat," they ARE doing themselves a favor, and the bread will be about as good a choice as any other starchy carbohydrate. "100% whole wheat" means that all whole wheat flour, no white flour with the bran and germ removed, is used to make the bread. "100% whole wheat" WILL be high in fiber, or else the 100% label is lying. And it WILL be much higher in vitamins and minerals, particularly magnesium, then white bread would be.

I've never seen a commercial loaf of 100% that I thought was bad, after reading the label. Most 100% breads will add honey. Honey complements the strong, slightly bitter flavor of the bran and germ, and holds moisture. A little bit of oil improves the texture as well. Some loaves will use "dough conditioners" like ascorbic acid, which greatly improves the rise and thus the texture. None of these ingredients are bad for you, in the small amounts added to a loaf of bread.

An interesting trend I have seen in commercial baked goods is the addition of fiber to everything and the advertisement of fiber prominently on labels. For example, there is some major brand of fiber-enriched bread, I forget the name, with taste and texture similar to white bread. It seems too good to be true. I notice the ingredients include inulin, a soluble fiber, and other similar isolated soluble fibers. I believe that foods with these added soluble fibers will NOT have the same health benefits attributed to WHOLE WHEAT, because I believe that most of the benefits of whole wheat come not from the fiber, but from the antioxidants in the bran and germ. So I don't think that white bread with a tiny bit of whole wheat flour added, and then inulin or similar added to boost the fiber grams, has the same antioxidant health benefits of whole wheat.

I think the same thing about olive oil. Olive oil is believed to be healthy, but people don't always like the taste of extra virgin. So producers come up with ways to product EVOO with a neutral taste. Well, I bet the health benefits are mainly in the green polyphenols that have the strong taste, NOT the monounsaturated fat molecules themselves. I doubt that neutral-flavored, light-colored olive oil, even if extra virgin, has all the same health benefits as the green stuff.