Most of us assume that white bread has had the fibre processed right out of it. But many white breads contain added fibre these days, so do you ever wonder how they put the fibre back in?
To make white flour for white bread, baking companies strip wheat of its outer layers — and its fibre. Brown wholegrain bread is higher in fibre than white bread is, because it retains the complete grain. This is why a bread’s colour used to be the clue to its fibre content — but that idea no longer applies.
Today, bread manufacturers often boost white bread’s fibre by adding a white resistant starch, which they extract from corn. They can also add other forms of fibre, including finely ground and bleached soy or lupin hulls (the seed husks of an ancient European herb).Although high-fibre white bread’s fibre content is similar to that of wholemeal bread, it isn’t as nutritious — it doesn’t contain all the parts of the original wheat grain, which houses key nutrients such as B vitamins and minerals.That said, it’s still better for you than regular white bread, as fibre is essential to keeping your gut in good shape, and digestive health helps prevent certain diseases, including bowel cancer.So if you or your family can’t come at the brown stuff, use your loaf and choose a high-fibre white variety.