Bread is a complex carbohydrate that plays an important role in maintaining a balanced diet. All types of bread, including white sliced, contribute a range of essential nutrients to the diet including protein, calcium, iron and B group vitamins. Wholemeal and brown bread can also be one of the body's main source of fibre.
1. Does eating bread cause weight gain?
Bread is a low fat food when eaten on its own and it is often the toppings that can push up the calorie content of a snack or meal. Seeded options can contain a higher level of good fats due to the seeds, but seeds are good for you in moderation.
If you're trying to manage your weight bread eaten with the right toppings can provide a filling option due to its fibre content. Starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients.
2. Will eating carbohydrates prevent me from losing weight?
There is no scientific evidence to show low carbohydrate diets are any better than any other calorie controlled diets. The Government recommendation is that 33% of your daily calories should come from bread and other starchy carbohydrates in order to achieve a healthy balanced diet. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to follow a healthy eating plan – the Government's Eatwell plate is a good place to start.
3. What nutritional value does white bread have?
All types of bread, including white sliced, contribute a range of essential nutrients to the diet including protein, calcium, iron and B group vitamins. It is also one of the UK's main sources of fibre, although wholemeal and brown bread contain more.
4. Is white bread harder to digest than others?
No, unless you suffer from a medical condition like Coeliac Disease, bread is easily digested. In fact, it is a good choice for people who find higher fibre levels difficult to digest.
5. Why does eating bread make me feel bloated?
Although bread is often accused of causing bloating there is no scientific evidence to support this. There are a number of reasons why some people can feel bloated after eating. These include eating too quickly, hormonal fluctuations, stress and a large increase in the amount, or change in the type, of fibre eaten. It is better to seek medical advice if you are suffering from bloating.
6. Is wholegrain bread more nutritious than white and brown bread?
Some nutrients are lost in the milling process of flour for white and brown bread. However, calcium, iron, and the B vitamins thiamin and niacin, must be restored to white and brown bread flour by law in the UK, and that ensures they contain similar levels of these key nutrients as wholegrain bread.
According to the Government's National Diet and Nutrition Survey, bread provides 10% of our daily intake of protein, folate and iron, and around 20% or more of fibre, calcium and magnesium.
7. Is white bread bleached and blanched?
This is no longer a legal practice and European Union (EU) regulations prohibit the use of flour bleaching agents. Blanching is a process where a food is parboiled for a short period of time, and this is not used in the production of white, brown or wholemeal bread.
8. Is bread classed as high in salt?
Salt is an important ingredient for bread as it adds flavour, helps to control yeast in fermentation and stabilises the gluten. However, modern production methods mean that salt can be kept to a minimum, and the salt content in bread has reduced by about 40% since the 1980s.
The recommended daily salt limit for adults is 6g or 2.4g of sodium and when looking at foods, including bread, and its salt content it's useful to look at the figure for salt per 100g:
- High is classed as more than 1.5g salt (0.6g sodium) per 100g and most of our bread contains 1.00g of salt or less per 100g meaning each slice would contribute about 8% of the daily intake.
9. Is bread unhealthy?
Bread is a starchy carbohydrate and plays an important role as part of a healthy balanced diet. Based on the Government's Eatwell plate, starchy carbohydrates should account for 1/3 of your food intake, which then provides 1/2 of your body's energy each day.
Bread is also a good source of fibre which is important for gut health and helps to keep bowel movements regular.