Bread is a much loved staple food with a vast variety of flavors, ingredients and nutrients. Granary, sour– dough, brown, cheat bread, yellow, anise flavored, brown roll, rye bread, to name but a few. Despite being unjustly accused for contributing to weight gain, bread still remains the basis of our daily diet.
Is there any truth to the belief that bread causes weight gain? What is the exact nutritional value of every type of bread? This article will explore some favorite flavors and help you understand how important it is to keep including bread on the family table.
Bread is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates that give our body the energy it needs and plays an important role in balancing the levels of glucose in the blood. Certain types of bread, like granary bread, have a high fibre content, which strengthens the operation of the digestive system. Most types of bread have vegetal proteins of low nutritional value and very few fats. They also contain B vitamins – which contribute to the metabolism of proteins, as well as to cell substitution. Vitamin E is an efficient antioxidant capable of dissolving clots forming in the blood, also micronutrients, like iron, potassium, calcium and selenium, which benefit our health in many different ways: iron plays an important role in cell development and oxygenation, potassium contributes to the balanced operation of the cells, calcium contributes to the density of the bones and to their overall firmness and health, while selenium is a powerful antioxidant.
We often hear that “bread makes us fat”. In fact, incriminating the bread in such a way is groundless. Bread contributes to weight gain ONLY when consumed in great quantities and when it is part of an unbalanced diet. It should also be noted that all types of bread generally correspond to the same amount of calories. Bread will become a bit more fattening when it contains seeds, sesame and dried fruits.
In a balanced diet, carbohydrates should be around 50%. As long as carbohydrates do not come only from the consumption of bread, 2 slices of granary bread every day can easily be included in our daily diet. People that consume a large amount of calories, like athletes and children, can consume even more bread.
Granary bread is by far the most nutritional type of bread, mainly because the flour of which it is mainly made is produced from the whole seed of the wheat, each part of which can benefit the body in different ways. Wheat seed consists of the Germ (the core), the Endosperm (that surrounds the core inside the seed) and the Bran (which is actually the seed’s outer skin). The germ has a high content of minerals, B and E vitamins, as well as antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. The endosperm, on the other hand, is rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Finally, the seed’s bran contains a great amount of fibre, vitamin E, several minerals, of which the most important is iron, while at the same time it contains small quantities of phytoestrogens, substances that are contained in certain categories of plants and imitate the action of phytoestrogens. Other types of bread however, are made of flour that is produced by milling just the endosperm.
Granary bread contains a greater number of raw fibers compared to the so called “cheat” bread, which radically contribute to the feeling of fullness, thus helping weight loss. At the same time, they significantly reduce the bread’s glycemic index, thus making it an excellent choice for those suffering from diabetes. In addition, it helps in reducing cholesterol and it has anticancer properties.
Mixed seed bread is produced by different kinds of cereals, like wheat, barley, rye, oats and corn. It is enriched with various kinds of seeds – hence it is equally nutritional, but with a few more calories. It is rich in vitamins and trace elements.
As “Mixed seed bread” is considered not only the one containing various kinds of seeds, but also the bread that combines different types of flour produced, for example, from barley and corn. At the same time, the presence of numerous seeds, apart from the rest of its benefits, gives the bread a rich texture.
So, by combining the benefits of every type of bread, the mixed seed bread makes the most of a very important healthy diet principle - variety!
Bread, when consumed in proper quantities, not only does not contribute to weight gain but it can also give our body plenty of nutritional values necessary for its good functioning!