For decades now, bread has maintained its status as a staple food that people of all classes consume. There are many varieties of bread, which also comes in many shapes and sizes. Bread is made from dough that is a blend of water and flour.
Some varieties of bread include sour bread, soda bread, and sweet bread. Though bread is a part of the primary diet of many countries and cultures around the world, there’s a debate on whether it is healthy.
The Nutrient Profile Of Bread
Bread doesn’t contain many nutrients like proteins, fat, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. However, it is abundant in calories and carbohydrates. Each type of bread has a different nutrient profile. For instance, whole-wheat bread is rich in fiber.
It is important to note that bread typically contains gluten. Gluten gives rise to the dough and makes it stretchable. Now while most can tolerate gluten well, some cannot eat it without risking their health. For example, celiac disease is characterized by the damage to the small intestine’s lining which gluten causes.
Moreover, some people also have gluten sensitivity which gives them bloating, diarrhea, and cramps when they eat gluten-containing foods. However, there are also varieties of bread that do not contain gluten. These include brown rice bread and bread made from potato flours.
High In Carbohydrates
Bread is rich in carbs which is a major downside due to the many health risks associated to it. When in the body, carbs are converted into glucose. Some research shows that this can make blood sugar markers rise as well as lead to overeating.
The former can cause diabetes type II while the latter can lead to a gain in weight. Furthermore, diets that comprise of a high amount of carbohydrates also share a link with metabolic syndrome. This can up your risk of heart disease.
Whole-Wheat Bread And Whole-Grain Bread
Whole-grain breads are high in fiber. This feature enables them to maintain blood sugar markers. Moreover, studies say that higher fiber content can improve gut bacteria balance, improve digestion, and lower risk of heart disease. Therefore, whole-grain breads have many benefits for health.
However, most grains are pulverized before being made into bread. This process strips the many benefits offered by grains as it speeds up the digestion process. There are some whole-grain breads that are comparatively less processed.
Note that soaking and sprouting grains can increase their nutritional value. Talking about whole-wheat bread, this type is higher in fiber, protein, and micronutrients. These can better health and help with weight loss.
Antinutrients And Fortified Breads
Unfortunately, whole-grain breads are also higher in antinutrients. Antinutrients are agents that prevent nutrient absorption in the body. They should be little worry to you though if your overall diet is balanced and nourishing.
Some countries have fortified breads because of strict rules. This means sellers add micronutrients to bread for making them more nutritious. In the United States many manufacturers add nutrients to their bread. This is done to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
To enjoy the many benefits and taste of bread, choose the right one. Healthier options include whole-wheat bread and sprouted grain breads. Ensure that your diet is balanced, and you only consume bread in moderation.