Brown Bread, Brown Rice, Brown Sugar & Brown Eggs: Nutritionist Decodes The Reality
Brown bread, brown rice, brown sugar and brown eggs: There are various notions floating in the market about their benefits or even controversies that if there is benefit or not. Let's find out here.
It is a myth that brown sugar is healthier than white sugar
- Brown bread is made of whole wheat flour with added refined wheat flour
- Brown rice is a whole grain which has its hull removed
- There is very less difference between brown sugar and white sugar
Nowadays, we see a lot of boosting about brown bread, brown rice, brown eggs and brown sugar; it seems that brown has become a mystery colour in the world of food. There are various notions floating in the market about their benefits or even controversies that if there is benefit or not. General take is that brown bread is better than white and brown sugar is better than white or in similar manner brown eggs being better than white ones and rice which is brown has more fibre than the regular white one.
Brown bread, brown rice, brown sugar and brown eggs: know the truth
1. Brown bread
Brown bread is made of whole wheat flour with added refined wheat flour. Different bakers can go with different proportion of the two ingredients. Indeed, Whole wheat has more fibre and nutrients so it is naturally the winner with multigrain bread, dalia bread and other fortified breads on the same side. There is a difference in appearance and texture of white bread being softer but brown bread being rich in nutrients wins the game.
The white bread is bleached to make it white and chemicals like benzoyl peroxide, chlorine dioxide and potassium bromate are used to bleach them. They can be counted as health hazard and adds to disadvantage of having white bread. One should not go by the colour (dark or light) and judge the quality of bread by reading the food label correctly.
2. Brown rice
Brown rice is a whole grain which has its hull removed (hard protective covering) but bran and germ intact whereas white rice has all three layers removed making it less nutritious having less vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Brown Rice is rich in folate, riboflavin, manganese, potassium, calcium and others. It helps and enhances weight loss as it has good amount of fibre which is lacking in white rice. As it is rich in various nutrients and fibre, it helps in controlling sugar, heart health, aids wound healing etc. As we know brown rice requires more time to cook depending on the quantity and white rice cooks easily is the difference of the layers over the grain. So as we now the difference, we understand that brown rice has an edge over white rice.
3. Brown sugar
Brown sugar vs white sugar has been a long loved story. We are always fascinated towards the brown sugar and think it would have much lower calories than white one. To be clear, they are low in calories but the difference is very minimal. Similarly, as white sugar undergoes more processes and undergo a bleaching treatment it looses its significant colour and few nutrients which is retained in brown sugar. This theory ofcourse makes brown sugar better than white sugar but honestly the difference is minute. It is the empty calories which we consume through sugar and restriction of the same during weight loss regime and if you are a diabetic is beneficial.
4. Brown eggs
Do you know why is the difference in colour of egg shells, why are they brown, light brown, and why white? The crystal clear answer is: difference in species and variety of hens yield different coloured eggs, and various environmental factors also do make an impact. Brown eggs though get a preference but they are very similar in terms of nutrition to white shell eggs and have very fewer difference. Rather the difference of Vitamin D can happen if the hen is left open in sunshine and the egg would have 3-4 times of Vitamin D than the other one. If hen had diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, it would yield the eggs higher in omega 3 fatty acids. Hence, if the preference is made based on the colour, the difference is quite less. So if you are paying double or triple for brown eggs and condemining the white ones, do check with an expert first and then make a choice.
(Vandita Jain is Delhi-based nutritionist and Diabetes educator)
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