Multigrain/honey wheat/rye bread: How we’re being tricked that they are healthy

The bread aisle in the grocery store can be a headache. You know that “white bread” is a huge no-no, and that whole wheat is supposedly healthy….but there’s lots of other types of bread out there. Multigrain, honey wheat, rye…and look at that healthy looking multi-grain bread with the seeds sprinkled on the top of the loaf! And they’re a nice brown color, ie not white. So, good….right?

Not necessarily.

Most of us by now know that whole grains are healthy. But why, and how do all the other non-white breads stack up?

Firstly, WHOLE GRAIN means that the product contains all the parts of the grain. So using wheat for example: the product contains the bran, endosperm and germ . These are the parts that contain the nutrients, fiber etc and this is why these things are healthy. Also, very importantly, whole grains are more slowly digested in the body which causes less of a blood sugar spike and help keep us full longer.

However, some whole wheat bread may be processed in a way that it doesn’t contain all the germ. So its not whole GRAIN, but still whole wheat.

So how do you know what type of bread to eat? Simple simple tip. Avoid anything where the word “WHOLE” is not in the first ingredient.

Look at the ingredients, if the first ingredient is whole grain flour that’s the best. Whole wheat flour and you’re still in good shape. You might see enriched wheat flour- that’s REFINED = not WHOLE. This simple tip will help you navigate the bread aisle, and help you to see that most rye bread, raisin bread, honey wheat bread etc, are actually NOT whole grain/wheat bread. Sorry!

So now we can navigate the bread aisle with confidence! Happy, healthy eating 🙂


Dr K