To find the greatest thing in sliced bread, we tasted 12 choices labeled whole wheat or multigrain. Whole grain contains fiber, which helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, plus minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. But a name game in the bread aisle makes it hard to know what you're getting.
Suffice it to say that "wheat bread" doesn't mean the wheat is whole, "whole wheat" doesn't mean the bread is 100 percent whole wheat, and "multigrain" doesn't mean all those grains are whole. Choose products with whole grains as a top ingredient. Department of Agriculture guidelines recommend no specific amount but suggest at least three servings per day for most people. In general, the whole-wheat breads we tested have more whole grain than the multigrain. Here's what else we found:
Nature's Pride multigrain is excellent and tasty enough to eat plain. It has a nutty, complex mix of grains and crunchy seeds and is moist, chewy, and sweeter than most. The overall quality of the breads rated Very Good is just a notch lower. Those rated Good have a light, airy texture and might have slight drawbacks but should taste OK in a sandwich.
It varies, as the Ratings (available to subscribers) show. That's partly because of weight differences.
Milton's whole wheat and Nature's Pride multigrain are healthful and less expensive than some. (Prices are what we paid.) Milton's and Pepperidge Farm were rated high in both of our categories, so if you prefer a different type of bread, try those brands.