12 Grain Bread Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Arnold 12 grain bread
Arnold 12 grain bread.

 Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

A side staple of dinners, a complimentary food at dine-in restaurants, and arguably the most popular carb in the world, bread complements almost any meal. Unfortunately, some breads are loaded with unrefined white flour and sugar. Switching out white bread for 12 grain bread may be slightly more nutritious, as most of these types of breads are enriched with vitamins and minerals lost in flour processing (such as B vitamins).

However, 12 grain bread isn't necessarily a whole-grain bread. In order for a bread to be considered whole grain, it needs to be made from 100% whole grain flour. Always check the ingredient list. If the first ingredient says 100% whole wheat, for example, it is considered a whole grain. Whole grains are often preferred because they contain the bran, germ, and endosperm of the grain and retain naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

12 Grain Bread Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for one slice of 12 grain bread (43g), is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 3g
  • Sodium: 190mg
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Fiber: 3.01g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 5g

Carbs

Bread is a carbohydrate-dense food because its primary ingredient is flour. The amount of carbohydrates in a serving of bread will depend on the size and the brand. This particular 12 grain bread contains 19 grams of carbohydrate per slice, or 6% of your daily recommended value. The carbs come from flour, wheat, brown sugar, and oats. If you are following a carbohydrate-controlled diet, be mindful of the amount of carbohydrates in one slice of your favorite bread.

Fats

One slice of 12 grain bread contains three total lipid fats, equal to 5% of your recommended daily value. This comes from oil, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds (depending on the brand), considered healthy fat sources. There is usually no saturated fat or trans fat in 12 grain bread, but this will depend on the brand. Always check labels.

Protein

A slice of 12 grain offers 5 filling grams of protein,which is slightly less than a 6-ounce container of unsweetened yogurt or one whole egg.

Vitamins and Minerals

One slice of 12 grain bread provides 40 grams of calcium for healthy bones, 3 grams of fiber to assist with digestion, 1 milligram of iron (or 6% of your recommended daily value) for energy and proper blood flow, and 1.6 grams of niacin to help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels.

Health Benefits

Along with adding whole grains to your diet, consuming 12 grain bread made with whole grains offers other benefits for sandwich enthusiasts. Many 12 grain breads contain heart-healthy fats from nuts and seeds, which can promote a healthy heart and lead to feelings of satiety.

Keeps You Full Longer

In a study published in Nutrition Journal, researchers from Malmo, Sweden found that in healthy adults, bread made with intact wheat kernels satisfied study participants longer than with refined wheat flour.

Improves Insulin

Bread made with whole grains was found to promote insulin sensitivity when compared to white bread, according to a study that looked at the role magnesium plays in this process.

Can Reduce Cardiovascular Events

The USDA says that the fiber from whole grains can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease and obesity. 

May Prevent Birth Defects

Whole wheat contains folic acid. Consuming folic acid assists with a healthy pregnancy by reducing the risk of spina bifida and anencephaly, and is important for blood cell formation.

Allergies

Not everyone should consume 12 grain bread, especially those with food allergies.

Celiac Disease

Gluten is a protein found in wheat products. Those with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which the immune response is directed against your own body instead of against foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria, should avoid all products with any gluten, such as wheat bread.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) says that another condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity could be even more common than celiac disease. However, the statistics on it are currently unknown.

Food Allergy

Wheat falls into the top eight food allergies among children. Parents should take precautions when introducing wheat into the diet. The CDC states that food allergies are a public health concern affecting an estimated 8% of children in the United States, which amounts to one in 13 children.

Seed Allergy

According to the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), seed allergies can cause a severe reaction in some people. Certain brands of 12 grain bread contain sunflower and sesame seeds, which can lead to anaphylaxis in those who are allergic.

Varieties

The grains in 12 grain bread can vary, offering consumers a choice in flavor profiles. Types of grains include:

  • Whole wheat
  • Wheat
  • Wheat berries
  • Buckwheat
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Rye
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Corn
  • Flaxseed
  • Rice
  • Sesame seed

When It’s Best

Bread can mold when left uneaten. You should make sure to look at the label and consume the product before the date stamped on the packaging. You might find mold starting as early as three days of purchase. Make sure to inspect the bread before you eat it or freeze the slices before they spoil to keep bread beyond its expiration date.

Storage and Food Safety

You can protect bread from molding too quickly. According to the USDA, you can store almost any food safely in the freezer. Food stored at 0°F will always be secure. Only the quality of bread suffers from lengthy freezer storage—you might not get the rich, whole wheat flavor if you leave a loaf for an extended time in the freezer.

Freezing at 0°F will also disable any microbes, such as the yeast and mold in bread. However, once you decide to thaw 12 grain bread, microbes can become active again and begin multiplying to levels that lead to foodborne illness. You should plan on consuming the bread within days of thawing to avoid eating any perished food.

In addition, freezing 12 grain bread will also preserve the bread in the exact state you purchased the loaf. For example, if the bread contains a spongy interior with a crisp crust, freezing will allow you to eat it days or months later with this same texture.

Refrigeration can make your bread mold less quickly, but the texture can deteriorate faster. You’re better off freezing the 12 grain load and thawing slices as you need them.

Keeping your bread stored in a breadbox can help preserve the flavor as this allows for less exposure to natural sunlight, and most likely keeps the bread in its original shape. Because 12 grain bread contains a soft interior, storing anything next to it or on top of it will crush it. You should keep bread in a box (or on a countertop) for no more than three days to preserve its freshness and avoid any potential molding.

Recipes

Substitute 12 grain bread for white bread in these recipes to boost your meal's nutrition profile.

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Article Sources
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