Multigrain or whole wheat for weight loss

The first step in starting a healthy diet is making the switch from refined carbohydrates to complex carbohydrates. This often includes switching from white bread to something like whole wheat bread. With so many whole grain products on the market, it may be confusing to understand what is better for you: a 100 percent wheat product versus a multigrain product. It is important to understand how to choose the right products to positively affect your health.

Whole Wheat

Whole wheat flour is healthier than regular white flour because it is a complex carbohydrate and not a simple sugar. Complex carbohydrates are digested slowly, benefiting you by reducing cholesterol, controlling blood sugar and helping you maintain your weight. A product made from whole wheat flour incorporates only one grain. Its components -- bran, germ and endosperm -- provide B vitamins, folate, iron, fiber and other minerals. This is what makes a 100 percent wheat product a healthy choice.


A multigrain product contains more than one grain, such as a mix of wheat, oats, barley and cornmeal. In these products the grains might not necessary be whole grains. Because the product contains multiple grains, it may not use the entire components of the grain, costing the product significant nutritional value. The grains also can be refined or processed to increase the shelf life of the product. This refining process causes grains to become less rich in fiber, folate, iron and B vitamins.

Reading Food Labels

It is important to read food labels to distinguish which product is in fact truly made from "whole" grain as opposed to "refined" grains. There are products that will claim that they are 100 percent wheat or multigrain, but the first ingredient on their food label will be "enriched" wheat flour. This means the product has been refined or processed and no longer contains all of the benefits of the wheat grain; it has been stripped of fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you have decided to switch to a diet including wheat and multigrain, make sure the first ingredient listed in the product you choose is wheat flour.

The Healthier Choice

A healthy diet should consist of whole grain products instead of refined grains. A product made from whole wheat flour is a better choice than a multigrain product that contains refined or processed grains.