Bring on the bread
Published 11:28 am Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Many would never expect today’s subject to enter into the arena of superfoods alongside broccoli, Brussels sprouts, blueberries, beets and bell peppers. In fact, most folks would probably place bread along the same vein as bacon, brownies, bologna, baklava and Burger King.
However, bread, in some ways, is truly a superfood. Whole-grain bread, particularly varieties made from whole wheat, can be a very healthful part of your diet.
Bread is great for energy, ranking 100 on the glycemic index scale, which is in the high range, so it’s great for a quick energy pick-me-up. The glycemic index is a way of ranking carbohydrate-containing foods based on how slowly or quickly they are digested and increase blood glucose levels.
Bread provides valuable nutrients. In addition to carbohydrates, fortified bread supplies B complex vitamins, and minerals such as iron, zinc and potassium. Bread also provides protein. In fact, two slices of bread contain approximately the same amount of protein as one egg or a glass of milk.
Bread, especially whole-grain bread, is an important source of dietary fiber. The fiber bread provides is in the form of insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, but rather absorbs water, adding bulk to the intestines, which speeds the movement and processing of waste products. A diet high in fiber is associated with a reduced risk for many diseases, including obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
One concern many who consume bread is that of gluten. Going gluten-free seems all the rage, but is it necessary? Gluten is a structural protein found in some grains including wheat, barley and rye. Some folks with Celiac disease may have an immune reaction to eating gluten. Over time, the immune response to consuming gluten creates inflammation that can damage the small intestine’s lining. However, it’s important to differentiate between those who are allergic or sensitive to gluten and those who steer clear of it because they believe it’s unhealthful. If you’ve no allergies to gluten, you need not avoid it.
Now, for a few fun bread facts: “Bread” is referenced 492 times in the Bible, and each American consumes, on average, 53 pounds of bread annually. Every year in the UK, 12 billion sandwiches are eaten. That means 380 are eaten every second.
The sandwich is named after John Montagu (1718-1792), the Earl of Sandwich, who started eating beef between two pieces of bread. Pre-sliced bread was banned in the United States briefly in 1943 as a wartime conservation effort, and the automatic popup bread toaster was patented before the bread-slicing machine. The longest loaf of bread ever baked was 4,920 feet long. In the United States, bread sales have decreased by 11.3% in the past five years.
I am now setting appointments for my free nutrition and fitness consultation. If I’ve not contacted you, please get in touch with me to receive your time.
David Crocker is a nutritionist and master personal trainer. Questions? Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org, or text (864) 494-6215.