Bread is a staple food in several households on a global level. However, many people doubt that its healthy. Bread comes in several varieties – there’s white bread, sourdough bread, brown bread, soda bread, sweet bread, and more.
What makes bread unhealthy
Bread is not particularly nutritious because of it doesn’t contain many essential nutrients. It is low in fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins while the carb content of bread is high. However, different types of breads have different nutrition accounts. High-fiber whole grain bread may boost a rich nutritional profile in comparison to white bread which is low in fiber.
Low-fiber bread is high in antinutrients which shouldn’t be of concern to a healthy individual but someone who follows a vegan or vegetarian diet can struggle with nutritional deficiencies because of this feature of bread. Antinutrients keep the body from taking in some essential nutrients such as calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
What’s more, bread is not called fattening without good reason. It is packed with carbohydrates which are broken down into glucose. While carbohydrates do provide energy, they are not an ideal energy source. Carbs encourage the accumulation of fats and they also raise blood sugar levels.
Their high glycemic index indicates that they can cause diabetes type 2 and metabolic syndrome. The high GI also means that bread increases hunger which can lead to overeating. Moreover, bread contains gluten which what gives it an elastic texture and makes the dough rise. Unfortunately, gluten is as controversial as diary.
While many people can digest it, several people intolerant to gluten. Some people have celiac disease which is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed along with impairing nutrient absorption.
Others are simply sensitive to gluten such that intaking it causes bloating, stomach ache, diarrhea for them. For such people, bread is a no-no. However, gluten-free breads are available which are made using potato flour or brown rice.
Why bread can be healthy too
Several types of breads are enriched with micronutrients to enhance their nutritional value. Some vitamins and minerals that are added include riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and iron. Furthermore, whole grain bread can be pretty healthy for a person.
Whole grains have been shown to take down the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colorectal cancer, and obesity. Other than whole wheat bread, sprouted bread is also a healthy choice because it is high in nutrients and low in antinutrients. Therefore, it can be said that how healthy a bread is, depends on the type it is.
Bread doesn’t have a strong nutritional profile because it may contain gluten and has a lot of carbohydrates which, in excess, can trigger many health conditions. However, whole grain bread does have a lot of nutritional value. Hence, choose your bread wisely. Every variety is different than the other.