Is there a difference between whole wheat bread and white bread?
White bread and whole wheat bread are made from the same grain – wheat. The difference between these two types of bread is due to the difference between the processings of whole grain and refined grain.
As seen in the image, whole grains have three parts: endosperm, bran, and germ.
During the process of making white bread, bran and germ are removed from the grain, leaving only the endosperm. Whole grain products have all three.
So, why are the bran and germ removed?
- Germ removal extends the shelf life of the product.
- Bran removal gives a white color and a fluffy texture.
- Refined grains cook faster than whole grains.
Now let’s understand how the three parts of the grain contribute to our body.
Endosperm: These are primarily carbohydrates. Our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose during the process of digestion. Glucose is sugar. It gets absorbed into our bloodstream and is an important energy source for our cells and organs.
Germ: Germ contains nutrients such as vitamin E, protein, magnesium, fiber, and more.
Bran: Bran is a source of a significant amount of proteins, vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Bran and germ are rich in fiber. One type of fiber is insoluble, which does not dissolve in water. It helps bulk food and moves it easily through the digestive system, reducing constipation.
The other type is soluble, which dissolves in water and slows the movement of food through the digestive system. As the breakdown of glucose is slower, it takes longer for it to enter the bloodstream. This helps manage and stabilize our blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Coming back to refined grain white bread, it lacks bran and germ, and therefore, all the fiber and benefits to our digestive system, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
In comparison, having only whole grain bread is good for our body and provides many benefits.