The majority of the UK population pop a slice of bread in the toaster for breakfast, and or for their lunch, by putting a filling between two slices to make a sandwich or using the dough as a wrap or burger bun.
Bread is typically prepared from a dough created using flour and water. Using different methods and in tweaking the ingredients you get sourdough, sweet bread, soda bread etc...
Even though bread is a staple, for the majority, it is often characterised as unhealthy, harmful and fattening. Predominately when we decide to address our weight we cut carbs, i.e. bread.
In relation to fruits and vegetables bread is relatively low in essential nutrients. It is high in carbohydrate, but low in protein, fat, fibre, vitamins and minerals. However this profile can widely differ across the types of bread we buy.
Bread generically contains gluten, which can cause adverse side affects for those who suffer with celiac disease or who are gluten sensitive. Some research suggests that eating foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) - a measure of how quickly foods increase blood sugar levels - can lead to increased hunger and a greater risk of over eating.
However certain varieties such as whole-grain bread are also higher in fibre, which can slow down the absorption of sugar into our bloodstream helping stabilise blood sugar levels.
Grains typically harbour antinutrients - compounds that block your body from taking in certain minerals, such as iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium, for most people following a well-rounded, healthy diet, antinutrients should be of little concern. However, for Vegans and Vegetarians antinutrients can contribute to serious nutritional deficiencies. Bread is often enriched with important vitamins and minerals to boost the nutritional value and prevent deficiencies.
Whole-grain consumption is linked to a number of impressive health benefits i.e. may lover risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even colorectal cancer.
Making an educated choice when choosing which bread is the healthiest for you can be hard.
Whole-wheat bread is healthier than white because its higher in fibre and protein it is also richer in several key nutrients, such as manganese and selenium.
Sprouting grained bread such as EZEKIEL Bread is another great option to maximise the nutritional benefits, studies show sprouting bread contains more fibre, folate acid, vitamin E, Vitamin C, and beta- carotene but fewer anti-nutrients.
Bread is high in Carbohydrates, low in micronutrients, and its gluten and antinutrients contents may cause issues for some.
Still, it is often enriched with extra nutrients, and whole-grain or sprouted varieties may bestow several health benefits.
In moderation, bread can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. However always check the nutritional information and pair with a balanced diet.