Is Whole Wheat Bread Actually Good For Weight Loss? We Asked Experts

If you're trying to lose weight, we probably don't have to tell you twice that white bread is at the top of your list of foods you should limit your intake for best results. Unfortunately, while it's delicious, white bread is highly processed and loaded with sugar, which can slow your weight loss and even lead to issues like inflammation and diabetes over time. Instead, you can choose whole grain bread as a healthy alternative. But is all bread labeled “whole wheat” really healthier than white bread? We called in the experts to find out.

For an in-depth look at white bread, whole grain bread, the difference between them, and the healthiest bread choices, we spoke to wellness coach Joanna Wen, author of spices and vegetablesand registered dietitians Caitlin CarrThey tell us that while wheat bread generally provides more fiber than white bread, there are a few other things you should be aware of when choosing the healthiest bread for your weight loss journey. Find all their expert insights below!

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Whole Wheat Bread from the Grocery Store


Benefits of Whole Wheat Bread

Let's get one important thing out of the way first: Whole grain bread is undeniably a better choice than white bread. While white bread provides little to no nutrition and is instead full of sugar, processed ingredients, and empty calories, whole-wheat bread typically provides a lot of fiber. As Wen points out, “Whole grain bread provides lots of fiber, which helps curb your appetite, while also providing important minerals and vitamins our bodies need.”

Carl agrees: “The biggest advantage of whole-wheat bread is the fiber,” she says. “In contrast to white bread, 100 percent whole-wheat bread is less processed and refined, so it contains wheat fiber.” This is especially helpful for weight loss because, as she explains, “fiber helps us feel fuller for longer It adds bulk to a meal without the calories, and fiber prevents post-meal blood sugar spikes by slowing the absorption of sugar. All of these qualities, combined with the nutrients in fiber foods, contribute to weight loss.”

However, it's important to note that not all breads labeled “whole wheat” are automatically a good choice for your overall health. Let's get in below.

Is whole wheat bread healthy?

You might think that as long as you skip white bread and choose whole grain bread, you'll be fine. However, Wen warns that certain varieties of whole-grain bread may cause the same problems as white bread. “Not all breads labeled ‘whole wheat' are healthy, as some may contain added sugar or preservatives,” she says.

According to Carr, the real rule of thumb for choosing a healthy bread is to look for a “100% whole wheat” label. She points out that “the words ‘whole wheat' and ‘whole wheat' are not the same. For a bread to be labeled ‘whole wheat,' it only needs to contain a certain amount of whole wheat, not 100 percent.” , choosing 100 percent whole-wheat bread will ensure you get more fiber and nutrients, and fewer processed ingredients.

bread aisle


How to Choose a Healthy Weight Loss Bread

As for how to tell if a bread is 100 percent whole wheat, Carr says you just need to check the label and/or ingredients. “Check the Whole Grains Council seal to see if the bread contains whole grains (such as wheat) rather than trusting other marketing information on the bread package,” she says. “It's also a good idea to look at the ingredient list. You may only want to see whole-wheat flour, not white or fortified white flour.” She also recommends choosing whole-grain breads that contain nuts and seeds “for extra satiety and Nutrition”. knew!

Additionally, Wen recommends choosing breads that are “minimally processed with naturally fermented grains,” listing sourdough and sprouted grains as some good options. “Compared to traditional whole-wheat bread, these types of bread contain fewer carbohydrates and more vitamins and minerals, resulting in greater overall nutritional value for fewer calories,” she says.

the bottom line

All in all, it's always important to pay attention to the true ingredients of the food you eat, rather than relying solely on potentially misleading labels such as “whole wheat.” While whole wheat is always a better choice than white bread, the best way to ensure you're getting the most nutrients and the least amount of processed ingredients is to look for “100% whole wheat” labels and double-check the ingredients.

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