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Is Bread Good For You? White Bread vs. Wholemeal Bread

Updated on October 3, 2012

Bread is a staple food in most parts of the world and has been for the best part of 10,000 or so years. Nowadays breads come in all sorts of different varieties from regular whole loaves to the most common ready sliced loaves, Baguettes, Croissants and Naan to name just a few. However, the two main types of bread are of course White and Brown.

Why is White Bread White and Brown Bread Brown?

White Bread

The colour and texture of breads are determined by the flour used during the baking process. White bread is baked using a wheat flour that has had both the bran and cereal germ removed from it in a process known as milling, it also isn't uncommon for white bread produced commercially to have had its flour bleached to remove any naturally remaining traces of yellow so that when baked the bread is the more consistent colour that one would expect from a white loaf.

I bet you didn't know...

That over 600 million tonnes of wheat is harvested around the world every year, a good portion of which will end up being used to make bread.

Brown Bread

'Brown Bread' aside from having the definition of 'dead' in British rhyming slang is also a type of bread, but is a relatively ambiguous and generic term in itself and can either refer to the more common wholemeal loaf or multigrain. Brown bread is basically, in terms of the flour used during baking, the complete opposite of white bread in that the flour used is left with the bran and cereal germ in it and remains unbleached.


Pros and Cons of White and Brown Bread

  • Although bread in itself is relatively healthy anyway, some are healthier than others and it all comes down to how the loaf was baked. Due to the removal of the bran from white bread and, subsequently the oil that was in the bran, the bread is given an extended shelf life, however, although the bread's shelf life is extended by the milling process, the missing bran and cereal germ also means the removal of key nutrients such as Vitamin B, fibre and iron.
  • Brown bread of course being the exact opposite means the opposite effects, the bread typically has a shorter shelf life but is much healthier overall, with a generous serving of Vitamin B, fibre and Iron, and without the bleaching agents used during the baking of white bread, some commercial producers of the loaf claim that you can get your recommended daily amount (RDA) of wholegrain in just two slices of the bread, making brown bread the healthiest choice overall.


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    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 6 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      This is a very nice hub. The pictures all look so yummy. I love eating bread with my soups, or just with a sandwitch. I voted you up.