Choosing whole-wheat bread -- especially over white bread -- can boost your health. For example, the fiber found in whole-wheat bread is associated with lower body weight and body fat, according to a review published in a 2005 edition of the journal “Nutrition.” Due to the many benefits of whole grains, choose them instead of refined grains or added sugars every chance you get.
In addition to helping you shed unwanted flab, the fiber found in whole-wheat bread provides you with other health benefits. A review published in a 2010 edition of “Current Atherosclerosis Reports” found that consuming grains rich in insoluble fiber – including whole wheat – can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart disease. The same review reports that whole wheat may also help lower blood glucose levels.
Although bad carbohydrates -- such as white bread, white rice, sweets and sugary drinks -- provide you with little nutrition and can lead to weight gain, the good carbs found in whole-wheat bread are important to your health. In fact, carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. The Institute of Medicine recommends women consume at least 130 grams of carbs every day, or 45 to 65 percent of their daily calorie intake from carbohydrates. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory reports that one slice of whole-wheat bread provides about 12 grams of carbs.
Although not generally classified as a high-protein food, whole-wheat bread provides you with more protein than white bread, which is good news when it comes to healthy weight management. According to a review published in a 2008 edition of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” protein helps increase satiety, which can cause you to eat fewer calories. The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory reports that one slice of whole-wheat bread contains about 4 grams of protein, versus 2 grams provided in white bread.
Eating whole-wheat bread can even help you meet your daily recommended allowance for vitamins and minerals. Whole-wheat bread is often enriched with iron and is an excellent source of B vitamins – thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate. And, whole-wheat bread is free from dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, which is good news when it comes to reducing your heart disease risk.
- Nutrition: Dietary Fiber and Body Weight
- Current Atherosclerosis Reports: Effects of Whole Grains on Coronary Heart Disease Risk
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory: Nutrient Data for 18075, Bread, Whole-Wheat, Commercially Prepared
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Protein, Weight Management and Satiety
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory: Nutrient Data for 18069, Bread, White, Commercially Prepared (Includes Soft Bread Crumbs)
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.