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Our hectic, modern lifestyles make us look for conventional foods that are both versatile & healthy.

Bread, in one form or another has formed a staple part of the human diet for thousands of years, but nowadays its often overlooked due to a belief that it lacks nutritional value or that eating bread will make you gain weight.

Myth 1: Bread is of little nutritional value.

Fact: Bread is a good source of B vitamins, which are essential for the release of energy from foods and a healthy nervous system, and minerals such as iron, needed for healthy blood and circulation, and zinc, important in growth and wound healing. 

Bread also contains folic acid, which is needed for the formation of blood cells and growth. Folic acid is essential for women who are trying to conceive, or are in the early stages of pregnancy. 

By law, white and brown flours are fortified with calcium, essential for healthy bones, along with iron, thiamine (Vitamin B1) and niacin (Vitamin B3).

Myth 2: Many people are intolerant / allergic to bread.

Fact: Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains, including wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. Of the gluten-containing grains, wheat is by far the most common.

We are undoubtedly in a time of heightened gluten awareness. Is that a good thing? It is, if you have Celiac Disease. It’s a major step forward that people who truly need to avoid gluten can do so more easily than in the past, as more gluten-free foods are now available, and labels are more clearly identifying foods with or without gluten. 

But the ‘dangers’ of gluten have probably been overstated… and oversold. Don’t be swayed by an elite athlete or movie star to restrict your diet when there’s no medical reason to do so. It’s up to you and your doctor—not a celebrity or a book author—to take care of your health.

Myth 3: Bread is fattening. 

Fact: Read the following line twice – No food in isolation can cause you to gain weight or fat. 

Bread will not inherently make you fat, but it tends to be dense in calories and is therefore easy to overeat. And of course, most people eat bread with other high-calorie foods, such as butter, peanut butter, jam or honey. This can lead to a caloric surplus and thus to weight gain over time.

Myth 4: We should reduce the amount of carbohydrate we consume to lose weight

Fact: A low-carb, high-fat diet is not superior to a low-fat, high-carb diet for weight loss. The total number of calories consumed is.

Myth 5: Wholewheat or brown varieties are superior to white bread.

Fact: You may have heard that eating bread is all right as long as it’s whole wheat bread. While white bread (made from wheat flour) and whole-wheat bread provide a similar number of calories, whole wheat bread has a lower glycaemic index & insulin index, so its consumption results in a lower insulin release. For that reason, and because of its higher fibre and micronutrient content, whole wheat bread is claimed to be healthier than white bread.

What the media frequently fails to mention is that the actual differences between white bread and whole wheat bread are relatively small. Yes, whole wheat bread has a higher fibre content — but this content pales compared to that of many fruits and vegetables. 

You most definitely don’t have to eat whole wheat products to get enough fibre in your diet! And yes, white bread does lose more micronutrients during processing — but those micronutrients are often reintroduced later… The bread is then called ‘enriched’.

Takeaway:The next time you get together with your friends, enjoy a pizza without anxiety. If that pizza isn’t an everyday occurrence & brought friends together, encouraged conversation, laughing & connection, the otherwise ‘bad’ food becomes nurturing for your soul.