According to this WSJ article "When 'Wheat' Really Means 'White': Deconstructing Labels in Bread Aisle" (subscription may be required), "Bread makers use food coloring, brown wrappers and healthful-sounding words like 'stone-ground,' 'cracked-wheat' and 'multi-grain' to make their breads sound more nutritious than they really are."
The bottom line is, forget about the name of the bread, and ignore what the bread looks like. Often, food coloring and brown wrapping is used to make bread look healthier than it is. As always, read the label! Look out for the following:
- Avoid bread that lists trans fat as an ingredient (usually diguised as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, shortening and margarine)
- Make sure that the first ingredient contains the word whole, e.g., whole wheat or whole grain.
Don't be fooled by breads that contain "100% enriched wheat flour". That really doesn't mean anything since most bread is made out of wheat, white or brown, healthy or not. "A wheat kernel has three layers -- the fiber-rich bran outer-layer, the endosperm middle layer, and the wheat germ, the nutrient-dense embryo. " Some manufacturers remove the bran and the germ, rich sources of fiber, and can still call the product 100% wheat flour (but not whole wheat flour). Also remember that bread is usually enriched only because it has been previously stripped of nutrients. Last but not least, be wary of white bread, which contains bleached flour.