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What's better, whole wheat or multi grain?

I'm trying to incorporate more brown bread instead of white bread, but I don't know what the benefits are of whole wheat vs multigrain. What is healthier?

Thu. Feb 23, 12:15pm

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Generally speaking whole wheat, but look for anything with 'whole' in it.

'Multigrain' does not mean it uses the whole grain unless it says so somewhere on the label, and thus you miss out on the bran and the germ (which contain the bulk of the fiber and nutrients in a grain). Look at the fiber content of the bread and if it is 2g or less per serving it is doubtful you are eating whole grain bread.

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 12:29 PM

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matter of opinion. I do not consider wheat healthy and avoid it like the plague. Multi grain has the potential to have a lower percentage of wheat in it- so it would get my vote.

Better yet, try alternatives like Ezekiel bread (sprouted grain, available in hfs's), spelt bread, 100% rye bread, rice bread, oat bread, kamut bread...

This notion of 5-7 servings of grain is promoted by the gov't after being lobbied by farmers. Getting servings of "whole grains" doesn't mean you need wheat; veggies (not starches) are better fibre for you anyways.

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 12:54 PM

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Well, one could certainly say the same thing about the government and dairy, or the government and meat. There is nothing wrong with 5-7 servings of grains a day if they are the right kind of grains -- brown rice, rolled oats (not instant), and whole wheat (though to a lesser extent) are my staple foods. There is nothing wrong with whole wheat as long as you don't suffer from a wheat intolerance or celiac disease. A lot of people have misconception about what a serving of grains is. A serving of grains is half a cup of cooked rice, 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, 2 ounces of dry pasta. A lot of people eat 5-7 "servings" which are much bigger than a true serving.

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 1:06 PM

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OP here, question for the second poster, why do you consider wheat unhealthy?

It's not that I'm trying to eat more wheat, it's just that my nutritionist recommend that I not eat white bread, go for bread with more fiber/nutrition.

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 1:52 PM

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Have you ever heard the phrase "The whiter your bread, the sooner you're dead." ? :)

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 1:56 PM

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To the OP - here is a great link that gives some great info as to why whole grains are better than processed.

In a nutshell your nutritionist would like you to stop eating white bread (and likely white pasta) because it is a simple carbohydrate that contains very little in the way of nutrition and can cause your blood sugar to spike quickly after eating it (especially if you eat it more or less by itself and not with other complex carbs) causing you to experience a drop in energy about an hour or two after consuming it often accompanied by feelings of hunger (because there's not much fiber to slow digestion your body makes quick work of it).

When wheat (or any other grain) is processed into flour the germ and the bran (which contain most of the nutrients and fiber) are discarded. The whiter the flour the more nutrients have been stripped away. At this point I practially consider it a serving of sugar and not a 'grain'.

Wheat is no more or less healthy than any other grain - however I do think it is a bit overly-prevalent in its rather empty, over-processed form. This is in part due to it's usefulness in baking (its ability to interact with yeast or soda and 'rise' is much better than other grains) and as a thickener in many sauces and coatings.

I definitely enjoy eating wheat. However it is only one grain of the many I incorporate into my diet. I would encourage you to explore other grain options - there are so many!

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 2:34 PM

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The Sprouted whole grain breads are very good for you-- I noticed that when I ate 2 slices with a bit of peanut butter for breakfast one morning, I was able to feel satisfied far longer than had I had a slice of "regular" bread... The same goes for eating hot whole-grain cereals--the ones you have to cook vs. the "instant" ones are much more satisfying and keep your blood sugars at a more even level, since they are harder to digest than finely ground flours....

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 2:53 PM

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wheat often affects insulin resistance. Insulin resistance has direct effects on health, and more importantly wieght loss. There's a whole hormonal side to weightloss that is not addressed by calorie counting.

More people have wheat intolerances than they realise. Try cutting out wheat for two weeks, then add it back and see how you feel. I used to love wheat pasta- now a bowl of it will make me sick for two days. But be warned- cutting out wheat is a little more difficult than you might think at first glance- check the ingeredients of anything you eat. Hydrolised plant protien can often include wheat. It it says "flour" without specifying what kind, it's wheat. But there are many alternatives out there that are infinitely better for you.

To the OP: your nutritionist may have said to eat more breads with more fibre- but again, I say why see grains as your primary source of fibre? Veggies!!! Infinitely better for you. But Ezekiel sprouted products are great for you. (And they also make cereal, tortillas, hamburger buns etc., and no, I'm not employed by them ;))

And I also agree that dairy and meat servings "suggestions" are influenced by the industry. I don't like the "food pyramid" at all. I eat waaaaay more meat than they suggest, and I'm lucky if I have their daily dairy serving amount in a week...

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 3:10 PM

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To the OP - Variety of grains are good for you, and multi-grains that are whole-grains are better for you too. There is nothing wrong with wheat per se, unless you have allergies or intollerance to it, but every food has a different array of nutrients in it, differin ranges of proteins, other important nutrients, so variety is healthy. The typical western diet has a huge amount of wheat in it - to the exclusion of variety.

Whole grains are all high in fiber and retain more nutrients because of less processing. I agree with the other about sprouted grain breads - and they are delicious - try them toasted.

Friday, February 24, 2006, 6:46 PM

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There is a good articile on alltel's homepage today about grains. Not sure hot to add a link here or I would post it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006, 11:54 AM

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As a general rule you want as much of the grain as possible. This is where the fiber and nutrients are. Brown rice is a good source for this as well, just make sure to cook it well and make it tasty.

Monday, April 16, 2007, 3:26 PM

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a surprising tip I heard is that if it says "enriched flour" that's a sign they had to add back all the stuff they processed out -- ie, you're better off with a whole grain flour. But many of the "multi grain" labeled things are not whole grain. All the marketing and packaging has gotten very sneaky...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1:09 AM

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To the 3:10 poster, you said "wheat often affects insulin resistance. Insulin resistance has direct effects on health, and more importantly wieght loss. There's a whole hormonal side to weightloss that is not addressed by calorie counting." Can I ask where you are getting this info? I am a diabetic and also have insulin resistance and many of the nutritionists I've seen and diabetic classes I've gone to I have never heard this. Is there some sort of link you can pass along where I can read about this?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 3:11 AM

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If you're trying to switch from white bread to whole grains, you might want to keep an eye out for white whole-wheat.

I was reading online and learned there are two types of wheat - red, which is the most common, and white. Most whole wheat bread is made from red wheat. The red wheat is a bit bitter when it is whole-grain, due to chemicals in its shell. The white wheat is supposed to be sweet and not bitter, even when it's whole grain.

King Arthur flour makes white whole-wheat flour. Their website suggested to begin by substituting it for 1/3 of the all-purpose flour called for in your recipe, then gradually increasing it to see how much you like. The website says that you can use it in cookies, muffins, etc.

I tried making a loaf of bread in the bread machine following the basic white loaf instructions but substituting 1/3 of the flour with the white whole-wheat. Neither my dh nor children could tell the difference. I'll try gradually increasing the amount.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 8:49 AM

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Whole Grain vs. Multi Grain

generally speaking, you cannot go wrong with whole grains. And just because grains are "multi" doesn't mean they are whole necessarily. I think it is deceptive marketing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007, 5:41 PM

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The answer to this question is neither. In this country we are in the process of making a shift away from "diet" or "health" foods to plant strong and nutrient dense approach.

What this means is that there are foods out there that dwarf any sort of grain or bread in their nutritional power. Certain greens blow bread out of the water in terms of the ability to help you lose weight, give you energy or improve your health.

We have two options to help you get to a more nutrient dense diet. A fast one and a slower one.

Fast Option:

Slower Option:

The second option is free, and you can download it right from that page.

Final note, if you enjoy bread, then please enjoy bread. If you eat enough nutrient dense food, you'll have the space to do a lot of what you like. Just don't view it as a health food. When you are out and about, it is sometimes the only option.

Enjoy your food, and eat your greens!


Thursday, March 03, 2011, 6:46 PM

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