Bread is one of the most commonly consumed foods around the world. But while most breads are sufficiently filling and make a great staple food, the health properties of each variety vary greatly. By choosing the right bread, you can dramatically improve the levels of nutrients you incorporate into your diet daily, while maintaining good digestive health and higher energy levels.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of misleading breads on the market, which may appear to be healthier than they actually are. It pays to be able to sort the truth from the myths when buying the healthiest bread for yourself and your family. Here are some of the healthiest breads available, and what to look out for when buying.
Whole grain bread is full of fibre thanks to its use of the entire grain, and any worthwhile healthy bread will list “100% whole grain” as its main ingredient. Don’t be fooled by generic “brown bread” or any mention of “grain” or “wheat” where the use of “whole grain” isn’t specified. A loaf that is brown in appearance doesn’t necessarily contain all the goodness of whole grain bread. If in doubt, look at the ingredients list. If “wheat flour” or “enriched bleached flour” are mentioned, this seemingly healthy bread is barely healthier than a standard white loaf. Anything other than “100% whole grain” won’t deliver the benefits you’re looking for.
This yeast-free, Irish bread has potential to be a healthy and delicious alternative to white bread. Traditionally made with wholemeal and oats, it is filling, wholesome and packed with fibre. Oats are effective and providing energy and maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol in the body, making soda bread, or any bread containing oats particularly healthy. Just make sure that the soda bread you buy contains 100% whole grain.
Multigrain bread, as its name suggests, contains a combination of a number of grains as its key ingredients. Multigrain bread can be a very healthy bread, using grains such as rye or millet as well as wheat. However, the term “multigrain” can be misleading and shouldn’t be confused with “wholegrain”. While multigrain bread uses a variety of different grains, they must also wholegrain in order to achieve the full health benefit. When buying multigrain bread, check the ingredients for the multigrain content. Some breads marketed as “multigrain” simply contain more than one kind of flour.
Bread topped with or containing seeds such as sesame or sunflower seeds can often deliver exceptional health benefits. Seeds, like nuts, are packed with nutrients and are particularly good for maintaining a healthy heart with their high omega-3 content. Combined with wholegrain, seeded bread can provide energy and keep you feeling full for hours.
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