What is Brown Bread.
As the name suggests, brown bread is brown in colour. But it has more to it than just the brown colour. The bread that is referred to as brown bread is made from wheat that is less processed. During the processing of the flour for making brown bread; the bran and germ in the wheat grain are not removed. The bran is the our part of wheat grain and is rich in fibre, while germ is the inner part of wheat grain which is packed with nutrients, Vitamins B and E as well as phytocemicals.
Therefore brown bread is made from what is referred to as whole-grain/whole meal wheat flour.
Wheat flour that is not stripped the bran and germ has several healthy benefits. The brown bread manufactured from such flour retains high levels of essential nutrients and fiber.
Brown Bread in Supermarkets
When buying bread, it is not all brown breads that are whole-grain/whole meal breads.
Some unscrupulous manufacturers want to masquerade their white bread as brown bread. They do this by adding colourings or caramel to white bread to make it look brown. The coloured bread is inferior to whole grain bread because it does not contain all nutrients and has less fibre.
Ways of Knowing real Brown Bread
The only way to be sure what you are buying is brown bread, is to check on the label. The real brown bread should be made from whole grain/whole meal wheat flour and not just wheat flour or enriched wheat flour. Therefore, make sure you to check on the listings of the ingredients used. If you do not see whole grain/whole meal wheat flour as the main ingredient, most likely it is not a whole-grain bread. Another indicator of non whole meal bread is the presence of caramel or any colouring on the ingredient list.
The Difference between White and Brown Bread
- White bread is made from wheat flour whose germ and bran have been removed.Therefore it is lower in fiber that real whole meal bread.
- White bread is lower in zinc, fiber, thiamin, niacin, trace elements and “good” fats and oils.
- Normally, wheat flour is bleached with chemicals to make it white. These chemicals such as potassium bromate, benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide gas are generally not good for our health.
- White bread is better in taste and look than whole meal bread, but this does not mean it is better nutritionally.
Healthy Benefits of Brown Bread
- The high fibre content in brown bread helps to reduce risks of diseases such as constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.
- The high fibre content in brown helps in managing diabetes by keeping the blood-sugar levels low.
- Research has shown that women who consume foods rich in insoluble fibre such as whole meal bread have lower risk of gall stones.
- The whole meal bread is good for those watching their weight since it is lower in calories and keeps you full for longer due to high fibre content.
- The whole meal bread is associated with reducing risk of heart diseases by lowering LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
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