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A GUIDE TO BUYING BREAD

The Whole Truth

Why does whole grain matter?

If a bread doesn't have whole wheat, oats, or some other whole grain as the first ingredient, muchof its vitamin-and-mineral-rich germ and bran leave been milled away, along with most of its fiber.

"Enriched" flour, which is what most breads are made from, is far from whole. The baker hasadded back three of the B-vitamins and the iron that were lost when the wheat was refined.

Some companies that make "light" breads toss in highly processed fiber to boost the fiber numbersand cut the calories. But nothing replaces the lost vitamin E, B-6, magnesium, manganese, zinc,potassium, copper, pantothenic acid, and phytochemicals.

(Starting next January, though, all enriched breads will be fortified with the B-vitamin folic acid,which is also lost during milling. That should reduce the risk of babies' being born with neuraltube birth defects like spina bifida. Many brands, including Arnold, Brownberry, Oroweat,Pepperidge Farm, and Wonder, are starting to add folic acid to their breads.)

Shopping for Grain

How can you tell if you're getting whole wheat bread? Look at the ingredients. "Whole wheatflour" should be the only flour listed. Not "wheat flour," "unbleached wheat flour," or"unbleached enriched wheat flour." Those are just sneaky ways of saying "refined white flour."

Too busy to squint at the tiny print? Look at the name. Any bread, roll, or bun with "wholewheat" as part of its name must be made with only whole wheat flour.

Breads with "Stone Ground Wheat," "Cracked Wheat," "Crushed Wheat," or "Wheat Berry" intheir names may or may not be whole grain. Check the ingredients.

If you're a fan of multi grain breads, look for whole wheat flour or some other whole grain as thefirst or second flour listed.

Original Bran'nola, for example, has more refined white flour than any other grain. But justbarely, thanks to all of its whole grain. Bran'nola is sold under the Arnold label in the East, asBrownberry in the Midwest, and as Oroweat in the West. Refined flour is also the first ingredientin Brownberry Natural Whole Bran. But the bread is almost half whole wheat and wheat bran.

A few caveats:

The "light" makers have probably added highly processed cottonseed, oat, or soyfiber. That means the breads may help prevent constipation, but they don't supplythe nutrients and phytochemicals that come with the whole grain."Light" breads have fewer calories (and less sodium) than regular breads, at least inpart, because they're sliced thinner. (And the labels can subtract the calories in theadded fiber, because it passes through the body unabsorbed.)

If your favorite sandwich-maker isn't in the chart, use our Best Bite and Honorable Mentioncriteria to see how it stacks up.

Loaves at First Bite

Within each category, breads are listed from most fiber to least. The weight (in ounces) of twoslices is in parenthesis following each name.

Bread (weight of 2 slices in ounces) Calories Sodium (mg) Fiber (g)

100% Whole Wheat

Rubschlager 100% Stone Ground Honey Whole Wheat (2)

140 270 5

Oroweat Light 100% Whole Wheat (1.5)

80 230 5

Arnold Stoneground 100% Whole Wheat (2)

120 230 4

Schmidt's Old Tyme 100% Whole Wheat (2)

120 260 4

Mrs. Wright's 100% Whole Wheat (2)

120 280 4

Grant's Farm 100% Whole Wheat (2)

140 300 4

Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain 100% Stoneground Whole Wheat (2.5)

180320 4

Earth Grains 100% Whole Wheat (1.5)

90 240 3

Wonder 100% Whole Wheat (1.5)

110 280 3

Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat Thin Sliced (2)

120 240 2

Wheat

Brownberry Bran'nola Hearty Wheat (2.5)

180 270 6

Oroweat Original Honey Wheat Berry (2.5)

120 340 4

Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Sliced Wheat (1)

70 150 3

Arnold Country Wheat (2.5)

180 340 2

Mixed Grain

Rubschlager European Style Whole Grain (2)

140 270 6

Rubschlager Sunflower Multi-Grain (2)

140 240 4

Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain Crunchy Grains (2.5)

180 260 4

Nature's Cupboard Natural 10-Grain (2.5)

160 340 4

Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain Nine Grain (2.5)

180 340 4

Brownberry Health Nut (2)

140 300 2

Pumpernickel & Rye

Rubschlager Danish Style Pumpernickel (2)

140 270 td> 260 4

Mrs. Wright's 100% Whole Wheat (2)

120 280 4

Grant's Farm 100% Whole Wheat (2)

140 300 4

Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain 100% Stoneground Whole Wheat (2.5)

180320 4

Earth Grains 100% Whole Wheat (1.5)

90 240 3

Wonder 100% Whole Wheat (1.5)

110 280 3

Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat Thin Sliced (2)

120 240 2

Wheat

Brownberry Bran'nola Hearty Wheat (2.5)

180 270 6

Oroweat Original Honey Wheat Berry (2.5)

120 340 4

Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Sliced Wheat (1)

70 150 3

Arnold Country Wheat (2.5)

180 340 2

Mixed Grain

Rubschlager European Style Whole Grain (2)

140 270 6

Rubschlager Sunflower Multi-Grain (2)

140 240 4

Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain Crunchy Grains (2.5)

180 260 4

Nature's Cupboard Natural 10-Grain (2.5)

160 340 4

Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain Nine Grain (2.5)

180 340 4

Brownberry Health Nut (2)

140 300 2

Pumpernickel & Rye

Rubschlager Danish Style Pumpernickel (2)

140 270 4

Rubschlager Westphalian Style Pumpernickel (2)

140 270 4


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By: Jayne Hurley


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