It's something most of us eat every single day but a new study on bread is enough to make you think twice about the type of loaf you buy and the number of slices you have.
Could something so simple have such a big impact on our health?
“Australians are really big bread eaters. We love it!” Professor Jennie Brand-Miller said.
“The key thing is that bread is one of the staple foods in our diet so the type we choose everyday has a significant impact on our health long term.” Susie Burrell, Dietician said.
The world over, most people can't live without their bread.
White to black, plain to multi-grain supermarket to amazing gourmet loaves, but as it's a daily staple on average we eat 4 to 6 slices a day. What is bread doing to our bodies, how healthy is it?
“Some breads are good for you, and some breads are not so good.” says Jennie.
Which of these 10 popular types are the most nutritious and not so healthy? Which will stack on the weight or keep you slim?
“Large slices and they are getting larger in the supermarkets, they barely fit into the toaster.” said Susie.
Dietician, Susie Burrell, from the Childrens' Hospital, Westmead compared the amount of kilojoules, fat, carbs, fibre and sodium.
“Kilojoules are crucial and hence the size of the bread is extremely important. As you can see this kind of slice, if you order 2 slices of that that is actually equivalent to 4 regular slices of bread.” said Susie.
A serve of 2 slices lowest in kilojoules is flat bread, plain white and wholemeal 600 kj, Wonder White 650kj, Helga's grain 860kj, soy and linseed and rye 900kj, Lawsons 1200kj, sourdough 1400kj and the most kilojoules and fat by far, equivalent to 2 Mars Bars - Turkish bread at 2,300kj, just 2 slices is more than a quarter of our recommended intake of 6000 to 8000 kilojoules a day!
“We should avoid it at all costs - it has so much white flour in it. You are getting nothing nutritionally, nothing of fibre, no key nutrients and it is so easy to overeat and of course all the butter drips in the holes as well.” Susie said.
But it's not just kilojoules, because a lot of bread is highly processed, it's also low in fibre, high in carbohydrates with a high Glycemic index or GI - not good for us.
“It gushes in and causes a big glucose spike. It means that it promotes fat accumulation in the liver, the blood and in the wrong spots around the body, abdominal, obesity.” says Jennie.
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, author of the low GI books, says more than half these breads are high GI - to be avoided. “Some breads, most breads in fact if they are wholemeal or white they have a high GI.”
So, the better breads…
Jennie: “Sourdough if it's made by proper sourdough fermentation techniques is low GI.
Helen: “So the best choice would be?”
Jennie: “The best choice would be your Burgen breads. Burgen breads or your grainy breads.”
Look for the low GI symbol. And for your meals and the kid's lunch...
“Because white bread has been processed and then added fibre and nutrients, that never makes it as good as grain bread. Now for a child, if they won't tolerate something that has a heavy grain in it, at least a light multigrain is a better choice and if they still won't have that at least a small
slice of flat bread in a wholemeal variety is better choice, better than white.” Susie says.
BREAD KJ per 2 slices Carbs per 2 slices Fibre (g) Fat (g) Sodium
- Plain White 600 28.2 1.8 300mg 1.5g
- Wholemeal 600 25.0 3.8 300mg 1.8g
- Mountain 600 27.5 2.1 120mg 0.7g
- Wonder White 650 26.7 4.2 300mg 1.2g
- Helga’s 860 36.6 2.4 340mg 2.0g
- Soy and Linseed 900 24.7 4.6 330mg 5.8g
- Rye 900 41.0 4.5 390mg 2.3g
- Lawson’s 1200 53.0 3.4 500mg 5.7g
- Sourdough 1400 99.6 5.8 780mg 3.8g 10.Turkish Bread 2300 110.0 5.5 1200mg 5.0g
For more information:
Infinity Sourdough Bakery
225 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW
02 9380 4320