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A GUIDE TO BUYING BREAD

Ah, it's fall and your kids show off their spiffy new lunch boxes while you scramble to think of what to pack in them. Office brown-baggers face the same dilemmaye arround.

Sandwiches are the universal answer. Don't believe us? The average American ate almost 54pounds of bread in 1995. Granted, that's far below the 160+ pounds the average European eats,but it's still quite a hunk of dough.

Of course, not all breads are created equal.

Some are made from 100 percent whole grains, with all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals intact. They're the ones that may help cut your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The rest are all or largely refined white flour -- which has been stripped of most of its nutrients.

That includes rye bread, pumpernickel, oatmeal, raisin, French, Italian, honey wheat, wheat,crushed or cracked wheat, multi grain, sunflower, olive -- you name it. (You wouldn't know that from looking at our chart, though, which is heavy on whole -- or mostly whole -- grain breads.)

Don't get us wrong. Refined flour breads aren't bad for you. They're low in fat, have nocholesterol, and supply some fiber, iron, and B-vitamins. But staff of life they ain't, despite theirnames.

Take Wonder Fat Free Multi-Grain bread. "Wonder 1-Grain" (refined white flour) is more like it. There's more yeast than any of the other grains. And Pepperidge Farm Light Style 7 Grain has more corn syrup than six of its seven grains. The seventh? You guessed it.

Refined white flour is also the main grain in Arnold Bran'nola Nutty Grains, Oroweat Light 9Grain, Pepperidge Farm Hearty Crunchy Oat, Roman Meal 12 Grain, and dozens of other nutritious-sounding breads.

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By: Jayne Hurley & Geneva Collins, from a article originally published in Nutrition Action Health Letter


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