Look for wholegrain bread … with the fewest ingredients

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Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA): “Asharq Al-Awsat”



It only takes 4 ingredients to make bread: flour, yeast, water and salt. After a little kneading and some time in the oven, to turn these ingredients into a delicious food product that can add a lot to your breakfast, or give the sandwich its well-known look. But the type of flour, in addition to the additional ingredients, can make or break the nutritional value of the bread.

Questionable ingredients

– what makes bread healthy? Healthy baking begins with choosing flour that comes from whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats, brown rice, rye, or barley.

Whole grains are seeds. Each consists of the outer shell, the “little seed embryo” that can turn into a plant, and the starchy attachments of the embryo. These three parts of whole grains have good contents of Riboflavin, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Eating whole grains is linked to better health. “There is good data that reflects the association of whole grains with reduced weight, reduced rates of heart disease and early death,” says Cathy McManus, a dietitian at Brigham and Harvard University. It also indicates that eating fiber helps lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, and improve digestion.

Questionable ingredients. Many ingredients can reduce the nutritional value required in bread.

White flour. The main culprit is refined grain flour, such as white flour. These grains have been treated to remove the bran and germ to obtain fine flour that lasts longer on the shelves. But the body digests refined grains quickly. Which may cause high blood sugar. Frequent high blood sugar levels may increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Sugars. In addition to refined grains, many types of bread contain added sugars such as brown sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, or molasses. Examples include raisin bread, sweet bread, or the type called “honey-wheat bread.” These types may contain some healthy ingredients, but they may also add up to 6 grams of sugar and 25 grams of carbohydrates for every single slice of bread.

Additives. Other ingredients considered safe to consume by the Food and Drug Administration may make you feel uncomfortable just knowing they are included in baking ingredients – such as caramel coloring and preservatives that help cook bread, maintain moisture, or stay for a longer period of time. Two additives – potassium bromate and azodicarbonamide – have been linked to cancer diseases in ongoing studies in laboratory animals, but they are permissible chemicals used in many baking products in the United States.

Find healthy bread

Research is needed to find good, healthier bread.

> The first step: Do not bother with the marketing and advertising promises on the package cover, you may say that it contains 12 crops of grains, or multi-grains, or made from whole grains, but this does not mean that it is actually a whole grain product, it is possible that it contains grains Refined though, says Ms McManus.

> Step 2: Read the ingredients list carefully. If you didn’t notice the word “whole grains” mentioned first in the ingredients list, then the product is not made from whole grains.

> The third step: Avoid bread made with many ingredients, especially bread made from:

– Unbleached wheat flour (from refined grains, fortified with other ingredients ).

– Any product that ends with the letters “ose” – (indicating sugar molecules such as: dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, or sucrose).

Ingredients that you are not familiar with, such as monoglycerides or diglyceride (emulsifiers that help ingredients combine together), or butylated hydroxyanisole (a preservative related to cancer in laboratory animals).

Sliced ​​bread instructions

> List of nutrients. After reading the ingredient list well, take a look at the Nutrition Facts label on the package; The best breads in the store share the nutrition facts for every single serving. As for bread, one portion equals one slice, and it weighs about 28 grams. Ms. McManus recommends eating types that contain “each slice of bread, less or equal to 80 calories, less than 100 milligrams of sodium, at least 3 grams of fiber, and less than 3 grams of sugar, with no added sugars altogether, And 15 grams of carbohydrates ». And she adds, “Do not eat any types of bread that contain saturated fat.”

Number of slices of bread. How many slices can you eat? This depends on what you eat from other foods. The goal is four servings of whole grains slices per day. You can do this by eating two slices of toast for breakfast and a sandwich of wholegrain bread for lunch. Or, you can have two slices of bread at lunch with half a cup of cooked whole grains – such as quinoa, farro, oats, oats, or bulgur – for breakfast or dinner. Finally, Ms. McManus says, “The important thing here is to find the whole grain you prefer for yourself and your family. And the right type of bread is easy to find to get the whole grain you need every day. ”

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