Everybody knows what professionals are saying: eat whole grains, don’t eat refined carbohydrates, and stay away from white bread-that seems to be the generic, go-to saying now-a-days. But what does that mean when you walk into the bakery section of your grocery store? There are so many different options; it gets confusing out there in the world of grains and breads! So here are a few tips on how to make sure you are choosing the healthiest possible (and usually the most delicious) breads and grains.
First things first- when you walk into the bakery isle, what do you see? White bread, multigrain bread, 9 grain bread, 12 grain bread, whole grain bread, whole wheat bread, wheat bread, oats and honey bread, and cinnamon raisin bread – the list goes on and on. For some reason, there is an incredible variety of “healthy” breads out there, but are they really healthy?
We’ve all heard that white bread is refined and not the best choice for us, but why? Well, white bread is definitely more processed than whole grain breads. During manufacturing, they literally remove the “whole grain”. They take out all the deliciously nutritious stuff like fiber and B vitamins and leave nothing but sugar and empty calories. Now, I am not bashing white bread, I am simply stating a fact: it provides no nutritional value to its consumers. But what is the difference between white bread and whole grain bread? The difference is there is much less to process in whole grain breads because they use the entire grain, they don’t selfishly remove anything from it which keeps it full of the fiber and vitamins that our bodies crave, making it a much healthier choice.
Now the next problem is how do you know what you are buying is in fact whole grain bread? It’s simple-you can start by looking at the package and reading how it is advertised. The problem is that manufacturers very often advertise in a way that may make us believe something is healthy when it is truly not. In order to outsmart them, read the ingredient list. They must, by law, include all of their ingredients in this list. Looking for the word “whole” – not grain, not multigrain, not wheat – whole! The word whole will tell you everything you need to know. If it says “whole” you know, for sure that it is a whole grain product.
Next- you want to make sure it is 100% whole grain/wheat. This is usually labeled on the front of the product because when manufacturers are actually producing a product that is healthy, they want their consumers to know it. So if it says “100% whole wheat” you have made a great choice.
At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our nutrition education classes are designed as an open forum to help you take the guess work out of making healthy choices at the supermarket. It used to be you walk into the store, you choose your produce, you choose your meats, and you choose whole wheat or white bread. Today is harder but it is more important than ever that we eat good, healthy food. So take an extra 10 seconds to read the food labels and be good to your bodies. When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.