It is not 'bad' for you, so why are so many people cutting it out?
Diet culture is still prominent in society and sadly, people are often looking for ‘bad’ foods to banish in order to achieve their ideal weight or size.
Bread has taken quite the hit over the last few years as many people have begun to fear it and feel that it’s ‘bad for you’.
This is why Orla Walsh, qualified dietician felt the need to clarify why we should stop banishing bread.
“Bread is bad for you – this is a myth,” Orla said on her Instagram page.
She went on to point out that people talk about cutting bread from their diet as if it is a miracle cure.
“Many people proudly proclaim that they have given up bread, suggesting that it indeed has a bad rep among certain members of society,” she wrote.
However, Orla pointed about that of all carbohydrate foods bread is actually one of the easiest to eat healthy amounts of because of simple portions.
“What I have observed over the years is that people tend to eat the correct amount of carbohydrate at a meal when they eat bread, which isn’t the case with other carbohydrate sources. Most people tend to eat two slices at breakfast or lunch which is sufficient carbohydrate to fuel their activity till the next meal time. Yet when people eat pasta or rice, their typical portion is equivalent, in terms of carbohydrate and calories, to 4 to 8 slices of bread.”
As Orla points out, it’s easy to eat the correct amount of bread – the standard two slices, because it’s easy to measure. Other options can be hard to get right.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we should swap fearing bread for fearing another carb, but that bread is actually pretty easier to measure in terms of portion control.
As with most foods, choosing the right type of bread could make all the difference.
“According to one survey, white bread provided 9-18% of the fibre in Irish diets and 11-12% of the minerals iron and calcium. In my professional opinion, this doesn’t highlight how nutrient-rich white bread is but rather how poor the typical Irish diet has become. If you’re looking to boost these nutrients in your diet, choose the likes of pulses, nuts, seeds, dairy and beef rather than white bread.”
Orla added that reading the label on the bread you’re buying can help you to make the right choices.
“What I would suggest is that people focus on the quality of the bread they choose to eat. For example, there may not always be much difference between white and wholemeal bread. Sometimes the difference is a mere half a gram of fibre. It’s important to look at the back of the pack! Try and choose a bread that has >6g of fibre per 100g. Usually, this bread is brown and seeded.”
So, in short, don’t be afraid of bread and don’t cut anything from your diet unless you have an intolerance.
Stick to the standard two slices, opt for seedy brown bread, and enjoy!