In an age with so many versions of low-carb and grain-free diets, many people are starting to believe that bread is the enemy. However, there are many different kinds of bread, and some are considerably healthier than others.
Here are some of the most common types of bread and how to choose the best bread for your natural health lifestyle.
The most basic type of bread is white bread, which has a light color and mild flavor. Because of how the gran and germ layers are reduced during flour-grinding and milling, white bread lacks the nutritional value that other types of bread have and therefore is not the best choice.
Whole Wheat Bread
As the name suggests, whole wheat bread contains the entire grain content from the flour and therefore more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than white bread. It has a richer taste, nutty flavor, and denser texture compared to white bread.
Multigrain bread is made with two or more different grains, but there are various kinds of grains that can be used. So, you will need to read the labels of multigrain bread very carefully.
You make rye bread using rye flour, which comes in light, medium, and dark types. It is typically made with 100 percent rye flour in Europe but combined with cocoa powder and molasses in the U.S. to give it a deeper color and flavor. In general, it has an earthy flavor and may include caraway seeds.
To make sourdough bread, you need to go through a fermentation process with lactobacilli and natural yeasts. Sourdough bread has a tangy flavor, fluffy interior, and crisp exterior. It is the bread of choice for people looking for digestion and blood sugar control benefits.
You make flatbread without yeast and flatten it into a round, thin shape after mixing in flour, water, salt, and oil or butter. Flatbreads are common in various cultures and served in different ways, such as injera in Ethiopia, tortillas in Mexico and chapatis in India.
Cornbread is a traditional American type of bread that is made with ground corn, wheat flour, milk, and eggs. It is often sweetened with honey or sugar and used as a Southern cuisine side dish served with butter.
Additional Common Bread Types
Each type of bread has its own unique nutritional value, flavor, and texture, and many cultures have their own specialized breads that have been passed down through generations. Here are some other common breads:
- Soda Bread
- Pumpernickel Bread
- Pita Bread
Which Breads Are Healthiest?
With so many bread options to choose from (and this list just scratches the surface of bread types and doesn’t even include sweet dessert breads), you might be wondering how to choose healthy bread for your sandwiches and meals. First, look for bread made with whole grain and not refined white flour. Whole grain breads contain fiber, protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, folate, potassium, and magnesium. You’ll get more nutrients in your diet with sprouted grain bread than whole wheat bread.
Sourdough bread has a low glycemic index and is more easily digestible than other breads. Meanwhile, rye bread is packed with lots of fiber to help regulate blood sugar levels. There is a lot of difference between brands and styles of multigrain bread, and “multigrain” doesn’t necessarily mean “whole grain.” Oat bread can be a nutritious choice but only if it has a substantial amount of oats and isn’t loaded with added sugars, oils, and refined flour. Try flax bread made with flax seeds for an omega-3 boost.
You can read more information about healthy nutrition on the Seagate blog.