Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread? With so many varieties including low GI, iron enriched and even one that contains calcium, surely it is a healthy choice for active people?
The more advanced technology has become, so too the more processed our bread, resulting in the soft, almost sticky common white loaf many families base a number of meals around each day.
Bread, white or otherwise, is a rich source of B group vitamins which are crucial for energy production, and hence bread remains a major contributor to the running of the body’s energy systems.
Less processed varieties of bread also offer a range of other nutrients including dietary fibre, vitamin E, zinc, iron and long chain unsaturated fats.
Apart from the distinct nutrient differences between white and grain-based breads, the other major difference is the difference in glycaemic index.
As white, wholemeal and flat breads have all had the grains ground down in their processing, they have a relatively high GI compared to wholegrain bread, meaning they release glucose into the bloodstream much more quickly than wholegrain breads.
Over time, this means choosing processed breads as a dietary staple will result in regular glucose peaks and troughs, and subsequent insulin release. High insulin levels over time are related to weight gain and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Generally speaking, the more grains the bread has, the better it will be for you, with soy and linseed loaves a standout due to their high polyunsaturated fat content.
The average adult needs just 2-4 slices of bread each day.