And other pressing questions about bread
If there is food in the world that many of us have a love-hate relationship with, it is bread. I am writing this text from a bakery. And here coffee and freshly baked baguettes with a crispy crust smell so delicious that even if you are not hungry right now, reading these lines, you clearly presented it … bread. Nutritionists constantly scare us: bread is poison. Fitness trainers unanimously repeat: if you want to lose weight, give up bread. But is bread really so harmful and how much of it can you eat without harming your figure and health?
Bread belongs to the grain group. This group includes all products based on wheat, barley, oats or any other cereal. The cereal group also includes pasta, oatmeal and rice.
Yes, bread has a lot of carbohydrates, but that doesn’t make it evil. Let’s see why intelligently including bread in your diet is a good idea.
Is it harmful to eat bread every day?
Bread is not the enemy. It (like other grains) provides us with fuel that can be used to generate energy. It also contains B vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. B vitamins help regulate metabolism and are beneficial for the nervous system. Minerals such as iron and magnesium improve immunity and maintain adequate oxygen levels in the blood. Dietary fiber is essential for gut health. So include baked goods and other grains in your diet. There is only one but – choose the right bread.
“Bread is a great product,” says an nutritionist. – Unfortunately, we are preparing it incorrectly. Bread doesn’t really have to last long. Real freshly baked bread becomes stale within a day or two at room temperature. And supermarket bread, which is stored for weeks, often contains sugar, preservatives and chemicals that are not found in homemade bread or in loaves bought at a small local bakery. ”
How much bread should you eat per day?
Spoiler: 1.5-2 slices.
Nutritionists advise including cereals (not just bread) in the diet. Any grain will help meet your nutrient needs. 1 serving of cereal should be mandatory, this is about 30 grams. For comparison, a thick loaf of bread cut from a round loaf is about 90-100 grams.
The 30 grams of grains you need per day also depends on your age, gender, and level of physical activity. In general, doctors recommend that moderately active women between the ages of 19 and 50 consume six servings a day (1.5-2 thick slices of bread), and for women over 50, five servings. Moderately active men aged 19 to 30 need eight servings (2.5 slices), men aged 31 to 50 need seven servings, and men over 50 need six (2 slices). Children need fewer servings than adults, and those who exercise regularly or lead an active lifestyle need more.
If you eat pre-packaged bread, read labels carefully, not only for serving size information, but also to understand the composition of the baked goods and the differences between brands and types of bread. For example, some brands contain 12 grams of carbs per slice, others 18 grams. Likewise, one type of bread may contain more fiber or less sugar than another.
Switch to whole grains for more nutrients
Whole grains provide the most nutrients and are considered the healthiest of all grains. Whole grains include whole grain breads and brown rice. Nutritionists recommend: Whole grains should make up at least half of all grains you eat. On the other hand, refined foods are ground to remove the bran and germ (which contains virtually all vitamins and fiber) to give them a finer texture and better shelf stability. Refined grains are primarily white bread and white rice. Fortified grains may seem much healthier than refined grains, according to the Whole Grains Council, but the difference is that some of the removed nutrients are added back. According to Moreno, bread baked from whole grains – rye, oats, spelled – is high in fiber and vitamins. “Sourdough bread is often easier to digest, as deep fermentation takes some of the gluten almost completely,” she adds.
So, even if you are on a strict diet, it is absolutely not necessary to avoid bread, unless you have a medical indication for it. The main thing is to choose the right bread. Here are a few marketing gimmicks to be aware of:
- Bread made from regular flour with a couple of grains in the dough is not a whole grain product. The most common marketing moves on packaging are the inscriptions “Contains whole grain”, “Multigrain”, “Made from whole wheat”.
- Another marketing trick is the color of bread and pasta. The consumer believes the product is made from whole grain flour if it is darker. But the color says nothing. If you want to buy the right bread, look for whole or wholemeal first on the label.
- Generally, whole grain breads are quite dense and firm. Less common is softer wheat bran bread. On the shelves, you can also find slightly damp vacuum-packed crispbreads. In all cases, the consistency of whole grain bread is different from the usual one. The fact is that from coarse flour the dough is less sticky and elastic than from ordinary premium flour.
- Avoid softening thickeners and artificial preservatives like calcium propionate or soy-derived sodium benzoate in breads. Only a natural preservative in the form of ascorbic acid is appropriate.
- It is better if the product does not contain salt and sugar at all, but if you like sweetish bread, give preference to products with natural sweeteners – honey and molasses, but not corn syrup.