Bread is one of the most popular foods in the world, and wholemeal bread is among the healthiest of the bunch. Wholemeal bread contains more nutrients and takes longer to digest than white bread1 , which means it can help you feel satisfied for longer, too.
Because it’s digested slowly, wholemeal bread provides more energy, for longer, so can support individuals with demanding exercise regimes.
In this article, we’ll explain what wholemeal bread is. Then, we’ll explain the difference between wholemeal and wholegrain bread. Discover all the benefits of wholemeal bread and learn how to incorporate it into your diet.
What is wholemeal bread?
Wholemeal bread is a type of brown bread made from the whole of a grain kernel. Bread made using all parts of the grain kernel is more nutritious and takes longer to digest than varieties which arent, like white bread.
Wholemeal vs wholegrain
Wholemeal bread and wholegrain bread are slightly different, although the names are often used synonymously in bread marketing.
Wholemeal bread contains the entirety of the wheat kernel; the bran, germ, and endosperm. Wheat is a part of the cereal family, and wholemeal bread is a whole grain food.
Wholegrain bread contains the entirety of the wheat kernel but incorporates other whole grains, including oats, barley, and rye.
Health benefits of wholemeal bread
Wholemeal has plenty of benefits for health, including:
- Supports normaldigestion. Wholemeal bread is high in fibre, which can improve digestive health by increasing the frequency of bowel movements2.
- Weight loss. The fibre content of wholemeal bread increases feelings of satiety, which can help you achieve any weight loss goals by helping you feel fuller for longer.
- Lowers diabetes risk. In one study, people who more frequently consumed whole grains, including wholemeal bread, had lower rates of Type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t3.
- Healthier heart. Studies show that consumption may reduce the risk of heart disease4
What to eat with wholemeal bread
If you currently eat white bread, simply swap out your white loaf for a nourishing, fibrous wholemeal loaf.
A slice of wholemeal toast is a lovely breakfast. This can be extra nutritious when you add an egg or half an avocado on top.
Enjoy a wholemeal sandwich for lunch to feel full throughout the afternoon, as wholemeal bread is digested slowly, providing energy for longer than white bread6.
As wholemeal bread is a whole grain food, its best to enjoy it at meals which don’t include another grain. A healthy salad can be much more filling with a slice of wholemeal bread or toast on the side.
Do as the French do and enjoy a simple cassoulet, made from beans stewed with sausage, chicken, vegetables, or a combination thereof, with wholemeal bread to soak up the sauce.
Last updated: 21st January 2021
Author: Bhupesh Panchal, Regulatory Affairs
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.