Research shows that bread, long cast as a villain in the world of nutrition, is pretty great. However, the danger of carbs to your waistline and health really depend on the type of carbs. While white bread may be devoid of much nutritional value, whole grain bread can be part of a healthy diet! And whole grains, including those found in bread, can aid weight loss. Moreover, the whole grains in the bread can fight visceral fat. This comes as great news to those of us who love but avoid the demonized food.
In fact, a study saw that a low-cal diet including whole grains, such as “whole wheat bread, lost more belly fat than those who ate only refined grains, such as white bread and white rice.” And, people who ate the most pieces of whole-grain bread while on the Mediterranean diet were the least likely to be overweight or obese.
Of course, the same rules apply to bread as any other food: read the label, understand the calories, don’t eat too much. Pay special attention to the sugar and salt! They can be outrageously high. Additionally, when you look at the labels, you’ll see whole grain bread is generally higher in fiber, protein and micronutrients like selenium and manganese than white bread. Words to avoid on the label include “potassium bromate” and “azodicarbonamide.” Additives can seriously alter the overall health impacts of bread.
Whole grains are also good for your health and longevity. Studies have found that they are, “associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, total cancer, and mortality from all causes, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes and all non-cardiovascular, non-cancer causes.”
More good news? Toppings aren’t off limits! Healthy proteins and good fats can slow your digestion of carbs. A smear of nut butter, a drizzle of olive oil or a pad of grass-fed butter can actually improve its nutritional value!
If you are looking for some bread options other than whole wheat, check out this list of 12 healthy breads!