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Bread: the crumb that is good for you

In all its forms, white bread, rye bread, sandwich bread, special breads, bread remains the favorite guest at our table. Many rumors circulate about this essential complement to our meals, some of them are true, others are just suppositions. When we were children, how many times did we hear “stop eating bread, you’ll get fat”. Then we asked ourselves: Is bread safe for our health?

Considered as an “accessory” on our table until a few years ago, bread is experiencing a justified comeback. Experts confirm that bread is a key element of our nutritional intake, helping to rebalance the modern diet, which is too rich in fats and fast sugars. Its high content of complex carbohydrates, minerals, fibers (for wholemeal breads) makes it a high quality dietetic food. Moreover, it corrects a diet that is too poor in vegetables and too rich in animal proteins. Excess is not good for the delicate balance that characterizes our body, whether it is alcohol or any other food, “in moderation” remains the key word, except for vegetables and fruit, which can be consumed without moderation. But be careful with their quality.

Bread your best friend

Bread, a factor in overweight?

Accused by some of being fattening, bread does not deserve this reputation. Many scientific studies show that people who eat bread at every meal are generally thinner than others. The reason is simple, small cravings and hypoglycemia outside of meals are almost absent, the fibers present in some favor a slow digestion, thus lengthening the impression of satiety.

Is bread and diet compatible?

Rich in carbohydrates, bread should be eaten sparingly if you want to lose weight. To limit storage and stabilize blood sugar levels, sourdough, multigrain or rye bread are preferable. Above all, avoid butter and jam. That’s where the calories come from. People suffering from digestive pathology, such as constipation, functional colopathy or diverticulosis, may benefit from eating a bread rich in fiber, such as wholemeal bread, which regulates transit.

Bread: be careful in case of water retention and hypertension.

Contrary to some beliefs, eating bread is not responsible for the onset of certain diseases. However, people suffering from water retention, high blood pressure or kidney disease should not eat bread because of its high sodium content. Salt-free breads are the solution.

Bread: beneficial for our brain and muscles

It is important to consume complex carbohydrates at breakfast, which are essential for the proper functioning of our brain and muscles. They are digested into glucose, our body’s fuel. They are also stored in the liver and muscles to build up reserves for the day, a lasting source of energy.

Gluten intolerant: should you abstain from bread?

Gluten is found in wheat, barley, oats and rye. People suffering from gluten intolerance should avoid bread made from wheat. Bread made from corn flour is a suitable substitute. However, the selection of wheat, the bread-making methods or the excessive addition of gluten to bread can lead to sensitivity in some people, different from gluten intolerance. Beware of gluten-free industrial breads, most of which compensate for the absence of protein with additives, sugars and fats.

Which bread for which health benefit?

Country or multigrain bread, white or traditional baguette, … At the bakery or in supermarkets, the offer is vast and can leave the consumer perplexed. Each bread has its own assets, we will try to decipher them.

Bread from the baker or industrial bread?

The bread offer has diversified. Between the traditional baker’s baguette, the industrial bread of the supermarkets, the sandwich bread or the frozen bread, it is difficult to choose on the nutritional level. The bread from the baker is unquestionably the best. Soft sandwich bread will be digested more quickly, just like frozen or industrial bread. However, sandwich bread keeps better, so you can always have a little in reserve at home.

Traditional or white baguette?

The traditional baguette does not undergo any freezing treatment during its preparation and must not contain any additives. Better quality flour is used, with the baker taking more time and care in kneading, rising and baking. A sourdough bread rises more slowly and also keeps much longer than a yeast bread. Sourdough is the result of fermentation caused by bacteria present on the wheat grain’s envelope. It generates organic acids that lower the glycemic index of the bread. The vitamins and minerals in sourdough bread are better assimilated by the body and its acidic taste allows to limit the addition of salt for nothing.

White bread or wholemeal bread?

Wholemeal bread and integral bread are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals (iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, selenium …). The difference lies in the flours used, which are not refined or not at all. As long as you choose them when they rise to optimize the assimilation of nutrients, opting for these breads allows you to enrich your diet with nutrients. Nutritionists are unanimous: the darker the bread, the better. This means that the flour used is not very refined.

Wheat, Rye or Multigrain?

Breads made from several flours allow for a diversification of nutrient intake. Rye or spelt do not have the same vitamin and mineral content as wheat, while providing a fibre content. Breads made from spelt and small spelt contain less gluten than breads made only from wheat flour. A real grain bread should contain several flours and not be a white bread with a few flax, sesame or poppy seeds added.

Organic bread or not?

Organic is preferable, especially for bread made from unrefined or unrefined flour, because the pesticide treatments are concentrated on and in the outer shell of the grain. Many bakeries now offer organic breads. It is a little more expensive but probably better for your health. The organic baguette must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients. 2 additives are authorized to limit the oxidation of the dough: ascorbic acid and soy lecithin.

How complicated is it to make your own organic bread?

If you consider the time it takes for the dough to rise, it’s complicated. But if you have a bread machine, it’s easy. The machine does the kneading, the resting time and the baking, and all you have to do is put the ingredients in the vat, provided of course that everything is organic.

Well cooked or not too well cooked?

It’s a matter of taste. For your health, it is better to prefer a well-baked bread. A well-baked bread does not stick to the teeth, limits the risk of cavities and the formation of dental plaque. Undercooked bread increases the glycemic index. A well-baked bread is always more digestible because cooking limits the work of the stomach. A crumb too fresh, promotes gas and bloating, prefer the crust or take a sourdough bread : the slow fermentation will facilitate the assimilation.

To be particularly avoided, sandwich bread, which combines white flour, yeast, milk, sugars and fats.

Toasted or not?

Toasting bread should be done with care. Bread is rich in starch, and when it is heated too much, a chemical reaction transforms it into acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic substance. It is therefore recommended to toast bread in “Gold” color and not in “Brown” color, and above all not to burn your bread.

Beware of industrial toast: unlike real low-fat bread, rusks are fatty and often filled with glucose syrup to improve their taste and texture.

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