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Is Multigrain Bread Actually as Good a Food for You as Everyone Thinks?

More grains = more health… right?

As far as bread goes, I’m a multigrain kinda guy. I figure more grains means more nutrients, which means more time alive, which means more time alloted for watching anime. A guy’s gotta have something to look forward to, amirite?

But, is multigrain bread healthy?

Apparently, my rationale is mostly legit. “Multigrain bread is a great source of fiber and B vitamins, which are really important for energy production,” says nutritionist Jenna Hope (again, more energy = more anime). “Multigrain bread contains a variety of grains, which all contain individual plant compounds. It’s the variety that’s essential for general health and well-being.” Fiber, meanwhile, plays an important role in supporting a healthy gut, and a whopping 95 percent of Americans aren’t eating enough of it. So multigrain bread can help in that regard, too.

But unfortunately, some multigrain bread makers have brought shame to the multigrain name, using refined-grain flours — often white flour — to bulk up their products. The result is a loaf made up largely of empty calories disguised as a multigrain masterpiece, since refined grains are stripped of their fiber and micronutrients. For example, the first ingredient in Milton’s Multi-Grain Bread is enriched unbleached flour, which is a deceiving name for white flour.

Worse yet, many multigrain breads — and breads in general, for that matter — are filled with sugars and extra ingredients that can easily be hidden behind the seemingly healthy guise of crunchy, brown grains. So, as a general rule, make sure to flip your loaves around and check the ingredients list for anything besides actual grains. If the list makes a dictionary look like a quick read, try another loaf.

If you have trouble finding a decent multigrain bread, a better choice may be something designated as “100-percent whole grain,” which means the grains retain all of their original nutrients. “Bread gets a bad rap, but those made of whole grains and a variety of grains can be key components of a healthy, balanced diet,” Hope says.

So there you have it. Farewell for now. I have anime to watch.