Is whole wheat bread actually healthier? Here’s what experts say.

You've likely heard that whole wheat bread is healthier.

That statement isn't wrong, but experts want you to know that it does include some misconceptions and is missing some key nuances.

There’s plenty of fear-inducing information to be found online about apparent dangers of eating white bread, which is made from refined grains. Some articles and TikTok videos haphazardly suggest — without actual expert input — that eating them regularly can put you at a greater risk of developing serious diseases.

Here's what that actually means for a type of bread to be "good for you" — and what else you should know about your choice in grains.

Is whole wheat bread good for you?

Whole wheat bread is made from whole grains as opposed to refined grains — which is what white bread is made from.

Whole grains contain nutrients such as fiber, B-vitamins and vitamin A that you won’t find in white bread, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Refined grains are ones that typically have the bran and/or germ removed. That can “reduce the nutritional content and make them less satiating,” registered dietitian Miranda Galati tells USA TODAY.

Whole grains, on the other hand, “often contain more fiber, protein and micronutrients because the bran and germ are kept intact, which also makes them more filling and nutritionally balanced,” she says.

What are the pros and cons of whole wheat bread?

Whole wheat bread contains the aforementioned nutrients that aren’t typically found in white bread. But that often can come with a higher price tag, which can hinder accessibility.

Galati wants to remind shoppers that while buying whole grains when possible is beneficial, going for white bread isn’t a bad choice, either.

“​​The healthiest food in any category will depend on you, your budget, your culture, your health goals, and so much more,” Galati says. “It’s amazing to make more nutrient-dense choices when possible, but choosing the more processed or convenient option isn’t always a bad thing either. As a registered dietitian who wants you to build a healthy lifestyle that lasts, I’d recommend ditching the idea that there’s a healthiest version of anything.”

Looking for the healthiest diet? Here are three dietitian-backed tips to get you started.

Is whole wheat bread actually healthier?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends making half of your daily grain intake whole grains. While eating more “minimally-processed grains” is a good thing, Galati says, “it’s not necessary 100% of the time.”

A 2019 review of studies published in Advances in Nutrition found that while scientific research does validate recommendations to eat more whole grains, the idea that you need to decrease consumption of refined grains actually isn’t backed by any “substantial body of published scientific evidence.”

In many cases, correlation has been confused with causation and led some to believe refined grains lead to a slew of diseases that shouldn’t actually be attributed to eating a normal amount of them.

In other words: White bread may offer less nutrients, but it isn’t the villain it’s sometimes made out to be.

“It’s all about balance,” Galati adds. “Choose minimally refined grains most of the time but make sure to leave room for the fun stuff to make your diet sustainable.”

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Is whole wheat bread good for you? This bread is the healthiest.