Disease Proof

Whole-Wheat or Faux-Wheat Bread?

Here’s a good question, “Are those “whole-wheat” bagels really made from whole grain?” The answer might surprise you—but probably not—Dr. Fuhrman explains:
No. In most cases, it is primarily white flour. It is hard to tell sometimes. Ninety-nine percent of pastas, breads, cookies, pretzels, and other grain products are made from white flour.
It gets worse. That hearty brown color might not be from grain at all. Let’s just say it has a “caramel” complexion. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Sometimes a little whole wheat or caramel color is added and the product is called whole wheat to make you think it is the real thing. It isn’t. Most brown bread is merely white bread with a fake tan.
Unreal! You talk about false advertising. These over-marketed “healthier” breads are nothing more than standard American junk food. Dr. Fuhrman again:
Wheat grown on American soil is not a nutrient-dense food to begin with, but then the food manufacturers remove the most valuable part of the food and then add bleach, preservatives, salt, sugar, and food coloring to make breads, breakfast cereals, and other convenience foods.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman isn’t the only wary of faux-wheat bread. On The CBS Saturday Early Show, Dr. Mallika Marshall, shares her thoughts on most “wheat” breads:
White bread, she continues, isn't the best choice because that means they took out the good stuff: They just left the starchy part of the grain, then they threw back in a couple B-vitamins and some iron. Also, there's little or no fiber, which you need for good digestive health, and for helping ward off heart disease and some cancers.

Still, Marshall cautions, don't just "go brown" with your bread: Not all brown breads are created equal.

Breads that look brown aren't necessarily good for you. It may simply have caramel coloring. What you want to see on the label is the term "whole wheat" or "whole grain," and you want that to be the first or second ingredient on the list. Other words to look out for are "whole mill," "whole barley," or "whole oats."
I once heard Dr. Fuhrman say, “Don’t eat a bread-based diet.” I think that pretty much sums up what you should do here—don’t you agree?
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Paige - February 12, 2008 1:27 PM

I used to work at a bakery. A small, local, farmer's market friendly, organic, artisan bakery. However, we didn't make a single whole wheat bread. The closest we had was our "Whole Wheat Sourdough", which was half whole wheat flour and half white. That would have been "fine", except that the girls who worked in the front selling the bread (I worked in the back making the dough) didn't know what was in all the breads. Sometimes I'd be up front when a customer would ask if a bread was really whole wheat and the girl would start to say "yeah, I'm pretty sure" and I'd have to correct her. That experience made me really doubt other "whole" and "natural" products.

The worst, though, was with these little rolls. We called them multi-grain. Sounds pretty healthy, right? Well actually there's a lot of white flour, a little whole wheat, a little grain mix and a whole lot of brown sugar and oil. They're delicious, don't get me wrong. But healthy? Nuh-uh. And yet the local food co-op sold them next to their soup marked only as "whole grain rolls". Yikes!

And as for the caramel coloring, we never used it while I worked there but I heard that before I started, there was a restaurant that ordered those same multi-grain rolls. But they didn't come out dark enough for the restaurant, which wanted to sell them as their whole grain bread option. So instead of accepting our offer to up the whole grain content, they just wanted us to dye the bread.

I wonder what other silly and misleading things other food industries do.

Gerry Pugliese - February 12, 2008 3:10 PM

Hey Paige-

Scary stuff. Makes me think of hospital food. A hospital, a place people equate with "getting better" or "getting healthy." I worked at a hospital and can tell you first hand, the food...awful! Usually served with a few slices of white bread or one of those "little rolls." Egad!


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