You may not know it, but wholemeal bread is the basis of a long and articulated debate on its differences - in terms of taste, but also nutritional and, consequently, of effects on our health - compared to white bread. Oh yes, because if the benefits of wholemeal bread seem evident to us from its visibly healthier appearance, in reality this is not the case for all types and not for anyone who eats it.
Furthermore, when approaching wholemeal bread, it would always be better to inquire. As is often the case with dietary or healthy foods, we tend to consume larger quantities of them in the mistaken belief that they are harmless. With the risk of discovering that even wholemeal bread makes you fat, or that packaged bread is not as healthy as we think.
But in short: what are its benefits, and what are the differences with white bread? This is exactly what we want to tell you about in this article.
Wholemeal bread properties and characteristics: let's get to know wholemeal bread better
Bread with wholemeal flour is, in its traditional version, made with a flour made up of bran, germ and starch. White bread sees a greater composition of starch, which constitutes almost all of the flour, while in wholemeal bread the bran and wheat germ are preserved, and this is certainly important because these are the parts of the seed that contain most of the nutrients.
It is therefore above all not a bread with a lower caloric intake, but a bread with a greater intake of nutrients for the same number of calories. But, there is a but: in fact, not all bread that seems wholemeal really is. Given its popularity, an attempt has been made to satisfy market demands by introducing bread with a dark color added with bran. In short, if you see black bread, it is not said that it is really wholemeal. Above all, it is not said that it is really a healthier product or a natural product.
Wholemeal bread nutritional values
The benefits are truly numerous, just look at the nutritional values to immediately realize it. Obviously these vary from recipe to recipe, but in general we can say that a bread with wholemeal flour can provide fibre, iron, calcium, vitamin K, sodium, zinc, selenium, folate, choline and potassium, as well as magnesium and phosphorus.
In short, with about 70 grams a day you take in important nutrients - even more if you choose wholemeal bread with multigrain flour - but also an adequate supply of fibers that facilitate the cleaning of the intestinal tract. Furthermore, eating fiber-rich bread causes the glycemic index to be less altered (and less quickly), also benefiting people with problems such as diabetes and insulin resistance. But that's not all, because by including it in a balanced diet, it is possible to provide adequate protection for health, with an impact also on pressure (and therefore on heart disease) and even on pathologies connected to the well-being of the gums.
Wholemeal bread: calories and their relationship with the diet
If you're wondering if wholemeal bread makes you fat, know that the answer is no. In general, it is no more caloric than white bread and no more fattening than the latter. On the contrary, in some cases it is a valid ally for lose weight or just to monitor it. But, there is a but. In fact, a lot depends on what we buy: a packaged wholemeal bread can simply be a white bread with added bran, and therefore it must be evaluated as such.
This is because when asked "how many calories does wholemeal bread have?" we have to give a slightly more complex answer than the simple "fewer calories than white bread" that many hope to hear. First of all, in fact, it has more or less the same calories as the white one, about 300 per 100 grams. However, two factors must be considered:
- The nutritional values: with the same caloric intake, it contains many more nutrients than white bread and, above all, introduces fibers into the body which are useful both for the well-being of the intestine and to avoid glycemic peaks. With the consequence that it actually has a direct impact on weight control: on the one hand you deflate thanks to correct intestinal activity and, on the other, you do not suffer those glycemic peaks which are responsible for hunger attacks;
- The water: it has a much higher water content than common white bread. The consequence? A 70 gram slice contains less grain and, therefore, fewer calories. So if 100 grams of wholemeal bread has the same caloric intake as white bread, a single slice will not have the same calories as a slice of white bread, because water, present in a higher proportion, has no calories.
Let's pay attention: some final advice
We have analyzed wholemeal bread and its differences from white bread. Then we talked about its benefits, and discovered that it's good for your figure, as well as your health. Finally, we have discovered that under the wording "wholemeal bread" can hide a white bread colored with bran. What more is there to know? A few little tips on how to get the most out of this food, of course!
First, we said that there are different types, but we have not yet told you how to find the "real" one. Unfortunately, to date there are no rules that prohibit classifying bread as wholemeal even if it is only added. So the advice is to contact either your trusted baker or an organic products shop.
The second piece of advice concerns weight control. Many tend to exaggerate with quantities when faced with healthy or dietetic products, in the erroneous belief that they "do no harm". So be careful to maximize the benefits by inserting it in the diet exactly as you would use the white one. Sparingly, without exaggerating, and above all without adding more fatty condiments and sauces than your habits.
And now? Well, bon appetit!