White bread has for a long time, had bad associations. It is achieved by processing the healthy, nutrient rich grains using various chemicals such as chlorine dioxide, potassium bromated, azocarbonamide and ammonium chloride. These chemicals strip the grains of their goodness and bleach them into the white bread that we all know and love. White bread is not only hard for our bodies to digest but these refined carbohydrates cause a high increase in insulin levels. Insulin is produced to deal with the sugars which are turned into glycogen and then into triglycerides to be stored as fat.
The effect that white bread has on the body can get a little scientific and to be honest we all know that white bread is not good for us, but very few realize just how bad brown or multigrain bread is too.
Most brown and multigrain breads are simply white breads in disguise. Like most of these posts it all comes down to marketing. People believe that brown breads are healthier so the manufacturers tailor their products accordingly. In some cases white bread is simply dyed brown and packaged as brown bread. Multigrain and wholemeal breads are simply achieved by decorating the bread with a few grains or by adding a little wheat germ back. Some companies add in chemically produced vitamins so that they can call their product “enriched” but in fact these are often difficult for the body to break down as they aren’t produced naturally.
Brown and wholegrain aren’t all bad however, as the higher fibre content helps to improve digestion, making it a slightly better option than white. But with all things considered, brown bread is essentially junk food and we haven’t even got on to the added sugar and salt, or the effect gluten has on the body.
It all comes down to the process for making the bread and for us it is important to yet again, check the label. If the first ingredient says “refined wheat flour” then try to find another option. Don’t just settle for “wholewheat” or “multigrain” either; look for “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain,”.