Sorry, White Bread: Why Whole Grain Always Wins in the Wheat Wars
White bread gets a bad rap, and we’re all encouraged to eat more whole grains, but the number of people who understand why they’re grabbing the whole wheat loaves in the store over the white ones are few and far between. Many don’t question the health experts and simply buy the healthier variety, which is great, but for those who aren’t convinced that the whole wheat loaves are really that much better than the white ones, a little understanding can go a long way.
That’s why NPR came out with a report Tuesday that detailed exactly why whole wheat bread is better than white bread, and even where we can find the whole grain in our wheat bread. The publication enlisted physician David Ludwig of Boston Children’s Hospital to help consumers realize a more thorough understanding, and from his explanation, readers and listeners could expect just that.
As highlighted by NPR, white flour is a high-glycemic food, and thus, Ludwig explains, “That white flour is going to digest much more quickly, leading to a surge and crash in blood sugar that may stimulate hunger later in the meal, but also raise risk for diabetes and heart disease.” That helps explain why a diet rich in whole grains is linked to lower rates of heart disease, certain cancers, and Type 2 diabetes, but it even goes further than that. Studies have shown that refined carbohydrates like white flour can exacerbate problems of high blood cholesterol compared with saturated fat, and it all goes back to how certain grains are refined and processed.