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Bread: how (un) healthy is that really?

  1. The good image of bread is under attack. Bread is said to cause health problems and make it fat. But according to the Nutrition Center, we eat too little of it. How about really?

  1. Now take wholemeal bread: what's really wrong with it? According to the Netherlands Nutrition Center, nothing, except that we eat too little of it. Whole grain bread is made from wheat and that has been in a bad light since an anti-wheat hype has spread from the United States to the Netherlands. Wheat is said to have become so highly refined over the years that it has now become harmful to health. But there is no thorough scientific basis for this.

  2. Now take wholemeal bread: what's really wrong with it? According to the Nutrition Center, nothing, except that we eat too little of it. Whole grain bread is made from wheat and that has been in a bad light since an anti-wheat hype has spread from the United States to the Netherlands. Wheat is said to have become so highly refined over the years that it has now become harmful to health. But there is no thorough scientific basis for this.

Spelled: the new miracle grain?

  1. Spelled bread is praised to heaven on the internet. This primordial grain - thought to have been cultivated 9,000 years ago - is said to be much healthier than wheat. But nutritionally, spelled is like wheat like two drops of water. They are even related to each other. Spelled contains about the same amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, calories and carbohydrates. It is often thought that spelled does not contain gluten, but even that is not true. Yet there are people who claim that wheat bread gives them stomach problems and spelled bread does not. This is probably not due to gluten but due to certain carbohydrates, also known as FODMAPs. These are not only found in wheat, but also in milk and many types of fruit and vegetables. Nowadays there are more and more dietitians who use a low FODMAP diet for stomach complaints. In short: spelled bread is no healthier or unhealthier than wheat bread. Spelled bread is also available in white, brown and wholemeal variants, the latter of course being preferred. There is a catch: there are no legal rules for spelled bread. So it may be called that if there is only a small amount of spelled in it.

  2. Spelled bread is praised to heaven on the internet. This primordial grain - thought to have been cultivated 9,000 years ago - is said to be much healthier than wheat. But nutritionally, spelled is like wheat like two drops of water. They are even related to each other. Spelled contains about the same amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, calories and carbohydrates. It is often thought that spelled does not contain gluten, but even that is not true. Yet there are people who claim that wheat bread gives them stomach problems and spelled bread does not. This is probably not due to gluten but due to certain carbohydrates, also known as FODMAPs. These are not only in wheat, but also in milk and many types of vegetables and fruit. Nowadays there are more and more dietitians who use a low FODMAP diet for stomach complaints. In short: spelled bread is no healthier or unhealthier than wheat bread. Spelled bread is also available in white, brown and wholemeal varieties, with the latter of course being preferred. There is a catch: there are no legal rules for spelled bread. So it may be called that if there is only a small amount of spelled in it.

White bread: really that unhealthy?

  1. White bread contains the same vitamins, minerals and fiber as wholemeal bread, just a lot less. For example, a slice of white bread contains almost 1 gram of fiber, a slice of wheat bread contains twice as much, and a slice of wholemeal bread contains 2½ times as much. Because white bread contains little fiber, it is much more inviting to 'continue eating'. A white sandwich is quickly eaten and does not satisfy hunger so quickly. No, then a hearty wholemeal sandwich. You really have to chew on that longer, which takes more time and is more satiating. Whole wheat is also better for your diet.

  2. White bread contains the same vitamins, minerals and fiber as wholemeal bread, just a lot less. For example, a slice of white bread contains almost 1 gram of fiber, a slice of wheat bread contains twice as much, and a slice of wholemeal bread contains 2½ times as much. Because white bread contains little fiber, it invites you to 'continue eating'. A white sandwich is quickly eaten and does not satisfy hunger so quickly. No, then a hearty wholemeal sandwich. You really have to chew on that longer, which takes more time and is more satiating. Whole wheat is also better for your diet.

Bread belly: does that really exist?

  1. Well according to the American cardiologist Dr. William Davis, who wrote the book Broodbuik. According to him, wheat is the source of all health problems: it causes obesity, a big stomach, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The scientific basis? Can not be found. It is also strange that overweight has increased in the Netherlands, while bread consumption has actually decreased. How can you lose weight with his diet? Davis does not replace wheat with other grains, but prescribes a fairly strict low-carbohydrate diet (also without pasta and rice). It makes sense that you will fall out of that.

  2. Well according to the American cardiologist Dr. William Davis, who wrote the book Broodbuik. Wheat, he says, is the source of all health problems: it causes obesity, a big stomach, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The scientific basis? Can not be found. It is also strange that overweight has increased in the Netherlands, while bread consumption has actually decreased. How can you lose weight with his diet? Davis does not replace wheat with other grains, but prescribes a fairly strict low-carbohydrate diet (also without pasta and rice). It makes sense that you will lose it.

Multigrain bread: healthier than wholemeal bread?

  1. Can, but not necessary. Multigrain only means that the bread is made from several types of grain: not only wheat, but also, for example, corn, barley and rye. Wholemeal flour does not necessarily have to be used of those grains. Only if this is the case and extra seeds and kernels have been incorporated into the bread, then multigrain bread provides slightly more fiber, vitamins and minerals than wholemeal bread. So check the ingredients to see if it contains wholemeal flour.

  2. Can, but not necessary. Multigrain only means that the bread is made from several types of grain: not only wheat, but also corn, barley and rye, for example. Wholemeal flour does not necessarily have to be used of those grains. Only if this is the case and extra seeds and kernels have been incorporated into the bread, then multigrain bread provides slightly more fiber, vitamins and minerals than wholemeal bread. So check the ingredients to see if it contains wholemeal flour.

Sourdough bread: better than regular bread?

  1. With sourdough bread, also called sourdough bread, yeast is not used to make the dough rise, but sourdough. That is dough that has turned sour in which bacteria and yeasts grow. The rising time of sourdough bread is longer than that of yeast bread, which gives it a characteristic, full, slightly sour taste. Sourdough bread is also firmer than yeast bread, because yeast gives bread more volume. However, there is no difference in health.

Bread improvers: what are they needed for?

  1. Bread improvers, or bread improvers, are additives that can be used in the production of bread. They often have an E number. Such a number indicates that the government has found the substances safe. Examples are enzymes and sugars; these substances accelerate the rising and baking of bread. Fats, emulsifiers and extra gluten make the bread lighter, more tender and has a longer shelf life. Dairy products soften the bread. And vitamin C makes for a firmer dough. Yet bread improvers are not necessary. Some artisan bakers choose not to use them and accept the longer cooking time and shorter shelf life.

Prepackaged bread: much cheaper, just as healthy?

  1. In the supermarket you can sometimes buy a loaf of bread for € 0.99, while at the traditional baker you often spend four times that. You can't argue about taste, but you can about health. Yet the cheap supermarket bread is no less healthy than an expensive bread. Okay, they usually contain a bit more additives, but they have been checked by the European Food Safety Authority and found to be safe in principle.

Basic Ingredients

  1. The basic ingredients of any bread (cheap or expensive) are flour, water, salt and yeast or sourdough. How healthy a bread is is mainly determined by the flour. The healthiest thing is whole grain bread, because whole wheat flour is made from the whole grain of wheat. Wheat bread or brown bread is made from wheat flour with some of the bran and germ removed. But it contains a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals. The least healthy is white bread; this is made from flour, for which only the inner part of the grain has been used. In addition to the choice of flour, the choice of salt is important for health. Usually baker's salt is used: salt to which iodine has been added to ensure that we do not run into an iodine deficiency. On average, the Dutch consume enough iodine, but if bread consumption falls, that could change. We get half of the required amount of iodine from bread; the rest comes from iodized table salt, fish and dairy. Some artisan bakers use sea salt, which contains very little iodine. Check the label or ask the baker.



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