This Week’s Question: Will Bread Make Me Fat?
Over the years, experts have found strong links between high bread consumption and fat waistlines; so much so that bread is often recognised as the Voldemort of the healthy food planet. Most varieties tend to be nutritionally bankrupt, and considered the biggest enemy of low-carb, low-fat healthy diets. Some claim that it is quite high in the glycemic index scale and is nutritionally sparse, and thus should be completely avoided. While others say that breads have rich fiber and carbohydrate content, which makes them a must have. So which school of thought should you prescribe to? Let's find out as we dig deeper to answer the often asked question - "Will bread make me fat?"
White bread should not be part of your daily sandwich bread because....
White bread is made of refined flour, thus implying that all the nutrients and fiber have been stripped away from the grain. Thus, this bread is digested very quickly, creating a spike in the blood sugar levels. And as the blood sugar level rises, our bodies tend to produce more insulin, signalling the cells to absorb more sugar for energy or storage. Thus, over a period of time the insulin production strays. This can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes. Also, additional level of insulin leads to a great amount of fat storage in the body, welcoming a host of lifestyle ailments.
Whole grain bread, on the other hand, should be your preferred choice of bread...
Whole grain bread has more fibre and, thus, is good for gut health. This property helps prevent many chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and constipation. Whole grain bread also contains nutrients and minerals. However, please note that all this depends upon the grain and the protein content of the bread. This variety of bread doesn’t create a blood sugar spike and is much better when compared to white bread. Keep in mind that the quality of the whole grain bread matters. Many times it is seen that what sells as packaged whole grain bread is not very different from white bread. Check out the nutrition label and pick the loaf that has the highest protein, and lowest fat and sugar content. If it contains trans fats, avoid it entirely.
Here's a handy recipe for making your own healthy whole grain bread at home.
Top 3 reasons why you should eat a good quality bread, depending upon its type, make and nutrient content:
- Breads have carbohydrates in them. Carbs are the macro nutrients, which your body needs to maintain sugar regulation. Approximately 45 per cent of your daily recommended calories, should come from good carbohydrates. Thus eating a slice of whole wheat bread in a day, which has at least 11.6 g carbs is good for you.
- Breads have fiber in them. Depending upon your gender and age, your body needs 22 to 34 grams of fiber in a day and its consumption can help in improving your cholesterol levels too. One slice of whole wheat bread has 1.9gram of fiber.
- One slice of whole wheat bread has only about 50 calories. Go for reduced-calorie breads, such as pita, rye, and brown bread.
So to answer the question of "Will bread make me fat" we say - Yes, it will. But, only if you eat too much of it, and that too the wrong kind. Stick to whole grain breads and you can enjoy 2-4 slices a day, depending on your individual carb and calorie needs. In the end, it is up to you to decide which variety of bread to consume – the nutritious one or the one full of preservatives and added flavours. One last piece of advice – Trust the recognizable healthy ingredients and you’ll never go wrong when buying or eating bread! So, don’t break up with bread just yet; understand the nutrient advantages of its healthier varietites and you’ll do just fine.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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