Has anyone noticed in the last several years how the bread aisle at the grocery store just seems to keep expanding? The choices used to be white and wheat. You could also sidestep and pick up some peanut butter and then again for jelly. Now, the same sidestep leads you to more bread, and again to more bread past that. You can shuffle all the way down the aisle and you’ll find bread bread bread bread bread! There’s pumpernickel, rye, sourdough, potato, iron-enriched, French toast bread, Texas toast (I’m a little biased for this one), 5 grain, 7 grain, 9 grain, 11 grain, 12 grain, and yes, now you can find 15 grain bread!
15 grains! Now that’s healthy! So the question has to be asked, how many grains is too many? Here’s the answer: if you can’t think of a different grain for each one claimed, it’s too many. Try it. How many can you think of off the top of your head? Six? Seven? I’d be impressed if you could fathom ten. Sure, whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent and relieve constipation, and help manage weight, but the main benefit derived from them is fiber. Whole grains are almost synonymous with fiber. They might as well be called Whole Fibers. That’s what the whole grain movement is training us to think, at least.
Just like breads are often enriched with iron and niacin, they can also be pumped full of fiber. Some breads even offer Double Fiber! Sounds good, right? Sure does, if you’re within sprinting distance of a commode. Fiber helps you regulate, but too much of it will regulate you for you. Chances are, you’re getting fiber from other sources in your diet, too.
You know it, “Beans! Beans! The magical fruit…” There’s a reason behind all catch phrases and stereotypes. Beans are loaded with fiber and turn anyone into a regular Beethoven. I hear they’re good for your heart, too. Many people forget about the other fibers they eat every day like broccoli, corn, apples, oatmeal, strawberries, and coffee. So before you go munching on that mega-grain, ultra-fiber, sesame-crusted wheat bread, think about if you really want that little frog hiding under your seat the rest of the day.
By: S. Cole Garrett