No matter how you slice it, whole wheat bread is more nutritious than white because whole wheat bread contains the following:
- nearly one-third more protein
- three to four times the amount of fiber
- four times more zinc
- more folic acid
- more iron
- more chromium (an important mineral which regulates sugar and fat metabolism, especially important in hyperactive children)
Although whole wheat bread is reported to have the same glycemic index as white bread, because of the extra nutrients the carbohydrates in whole wheat bread may have less of a roller-coaster effect on blood sugar.
The nutritional content of bread is not affected by the bread’s shape or presentation-whether its rolls, bagels, or sliced bread. What matters most is the kind of flour in the bread. The main nutritional difference is whether breads are made with whole wheat or white flour.
As with grains, ranking breads is very difficult. We have attempted to rate them according to the following nutrients: protein, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamins B-6 and E (assigning one point each), and factoring in nutrients per calorie. Using this point system, the breads rank:
- multi whole-grain
- whole wheat
- pita, whole wheat
- rye, American