What I learned from Analyzing 832 Wheat Bread Products

April 30, 2015
Bread + Products

“Wheat’s” in a name?  Turns out a lot of nuance.


Adjectives are important

Whole Wheat has a strong association with healthiness. However, the adjectives used to describe Wheat -100%, Cracked, Whole, Stoneground, etc.- can mislead us into thinking the product has more health punch than it does.


Naming rules exist, but there are loopholes.  For example, Stoneground Whole Wheat means the product includes the whole grain, while simply saying the bread is Stoneground does not.

I put together this quick guide as a reference:

Whole Wheat Table


Why adjectives matter

32% of ~2600 breads (sliced and unsliced loaf products) for sale in US grocery stores use Wheat or Whole Grain in the brand or product name.

  • 92% of breads are classified as “Wheat”
  • 8% are classified as “Whole Grain”
  • Note: Multigrain bread products are NOT included in this analysis


Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.37.14 PM



So what?  On the surface, it would seem 1/3 of the breads available to purchase are healthy options for US consumers.


However, less than half offer the full nutritional benefits the average consumer might assume when buying a product with Wheat or Whole Grain.


Foodwise Bottom Line

If you’re going to invest in Wheat and Whole Grain breads, take the time to make sure you’re getting the nutrition for your money. “100%” and “Whole” are good words to be on the lookout for in the ingredient list.  Without these adjectives, don’t assume your wheat bread is actually 100% whole wheat.


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