WHITE BREADS, AN UNHEALTHY CHOICE?

Les pains blancs sont-ils réellement moins bons pour la santé qu'un pain à grains entiers? Faites le point dans cet article d'Isabelle Huot pour le Journal de Montréal.

WHITE BREADS, AN UNHEALTHY CHOICE?
Collaboration with St-Méthode Bakery

Whether white, gluten-free, multigrain or whole grain, bread is an integral part of the diet for the vast majority of Quebecers. If white breads are not always popular when it comes to health, they are not all bad.».

The basic recipe for making bread contains four ingredients: flour, water, yeast and salt. Although the type of flour can vary from one bread to another, wheat flour is generally used for its richness in gluten which gives the bread a nice texture. Wheat contains three parts: bran, endosperm and germ. Each of them offers different nutrients. The bran is particularly rich in fiber while the germ provides vitamin E. Although white breads are generally made with wheat flour from which the germ and the bran have been removed, they still provide certain nutrients. In Canada, refined wheat flour must be fortified with vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid) and minerals (iron) in order to compensate for losses following the extraction of bran and germ. In addition, starch, a source of complex carbohydrates, and protein are found in the endosperm of wheat, so these macronutrients are found in as large amounts in white bread as whole grain bread.

Although whole-grain bread is the best choice, white bread is a good option compared to store-bought muffins, waffles and pancakes. Per serving of consumption (1 muffin, 2 pancakes or waffles and 2 slices of bread), white bread offers up to twice as much fiber as other choices. Store-bought pancakes and waffles provide about three times more fat and sugar than white bread, while we're talking nearly seven times more for a store-bought carrot muffin.

Refined flour bread (without bran or germ) remains much lower in fiber, which is certainly a disadvantage. Yet, some white breads stand out. Often they contain a mixture of refined flour and whole flour which improves their fiber content. This is particularly the case with the Style Grand-père oatmeal bread from La Harvest de St-Méthode. Each serving of 2 slices of bread provides 4 grams of fibre.


In summary

  • White breads are usually made from refined wheat flour.
  • White breads provide complex carbohydrates and proteins.
  • The majority of St-Méthode white breads contain whole wheat flour or whole oat flour, in addition to enriched flour, which increases their fiber content.

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