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How to Choose the Best Bread

By Sara Butler

Do you find yourself baffled in the bread aisle? You're not alone. Choosing a bread that is healthy takes patience and concentration -- not to mention your reading glasses! Plus, you really have to know what to look for so you're not fooled by buzzwords such as fiber, whole grain, or even stone-ground. If you want to be healthy and ensure you're choosing a bread that will help you get there, then here's how to get it done.

It's All About the Kernel

The cornerstone to any good bread is wheat; understanding what the wheat kernel goes through to become bread is essential to choosing the right one.

Before a wheat kernel is processed, it contains three parts:

  • Bran - The outer layers of the grain
  • Germ - The part of the kernel that sprouts to create a new plant
  • Endosperm - The inner part of the kernel

The outer layers are where most of the nutrition and fiber reside, so buying bread that contains less processed wheat is essential.

It's About the 100 Percent!

When a food company lists their ingredients on a package, by law they must list them in descending order. That means that the ingredients most prevalent in the product will be higher on the ingredients list.

If you see a package that says the bread is 100 percent whole wheat, then look at the ingredients label. If that's really true, then whole wheat flour should be the first ingredient on the list -- and the only flour in the product. Don't fall victim to other terms on the packaging meant to lead you astray such as stone-ground wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, or wheat flour. It's 100 percent whole wheat flour or nothing!

What About Whole Grains?

You see the term "whole grain" around everywhere, so it's important to understand what it means.

First, know that whole grain does not equal whole wheat. When you see whole grain stated on a package, it likely means that all three portions of the kernel are present in the product and that it has at least 51 percent of whole grain ingredients.

Look at the ingredients on the packaging to see what you're really getting. Whole grain should be the very first ingredient.

The kind of bread you buy is a personal choice, but if you're looking for a lot of nutritional bang for your buck, then whole wheat is where it's at. It simply takes some diligence on your part to find the best option!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Weston, Fla.

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