If you care about being healthy (but not enough to give up bread entirely), you probably shun white bread in favour of the more brown variety. But what is this choice based on? Probably because your mom told you it’s healthier, or because you never see Kayla Itsines putting smashed avo on anything other than 100% rye bread.
The shade of brown you choose when selecting your bread is usually indicative of just how committed to the health life you are. If you’re the type to have a gym contract but never go, you probably like the pale-brown pre-packaged variety. It still tastes a bit like delicious white bread but is brown so is, like, healthier, right? On the on the other end of the health-obsessed spectrum, you’ll find those who are brave enough to peruse that section of the bread aisle that looks like a bunch of dark-brown rocks have been wrapped in plastic and mislabelled as bread.
The point is we all love bread, but which one is the healthiest choice? If you secretly yearn for the soft texture and slightly sweet flavour of white bread while you chew your way through that pumpernickel rye loaf every morning, you could be in luck.
A recent study set out to discover whether processed white bread or whole-wheat home-made bread was better for you, and the results might upset anyone who’s ever paid extra for the healthy-bread option. The study involved giving participants either regular packed and processed white bread or artisanal whole-wheat sourdough bread (freshly baked especially for them – where do we sign up for these studies, please?). They ate the one type of bread for a week, then took two weeks off from bread (probably the hardest part of the study, TBH) and then ate the other type of bread for a week. The results showed no clinical difference on the participants’ health during each week. While this isn’t an extensive study, it’s a good indicator that no one type of bread is obviously better for you than the other.
What they did find, however, was that some people reacted better to the processed white bread and some better to the whole-wheat. This makes a good case for the growing trend of altering your diet to your own individual needs instead of a one-diet-fits-all approach to eating.
So, how can you use this information? If you’re serious about bread and finding out the best form you should be consuming it in, go see a dietician. Otherwise, you can carry out a mini experiment on yourself, no lab needed. Try eating only one type of bread for a week, and another the next week. You could do this for a number of weeks, testing out all the delicious types of bread known to man (all in the name of research and getting a good sample range, obvs).
Track your energy levels and how your body feels in general. At the end of your little experiment you can decide what bread suits you best based on this. If your energy levels are high and things are running regularly (so to speak) when you’re eating Albany’s ‘Best of Both’ bread, then that’s probably the one for you. If you find yourself feeling sluggish and clogged up the week where you’re only eating sourdough, then try another one. You’re basically a dietician now and you’re more in tune with your body!
Read more about food and drink.