Expert opinion: which bread is healthier


Expert opinion: which bread is healthier

Bread is one of the oldest products that appeared in the Neolithic. It is made using various types of flour (wheat, rye, barley, corn, oatmeal), with the addition of yeast (or without them) and other ingredients, it can be sugar, spices, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts or herbs. Some types of bread contain a large amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals, while others are made from refined grains and have very few nutrients. Together with the expert we figure out which one is the most useful, and which one is best left on a shelf in a bakery.

Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients and serve as the main source of energy. They provide the body with glucose, which is converted into fuel used to maintain the functioning of the body and physical activity.

However, in recent years, carbohydrates have earned a poor reputation, which is largely due to the growing popularity of keto diets. According to her, special attention is paid to the use of a large number of foods high in fat, but carbohydrates should be excluded.

However, according to recent studies, the most useful diet is considered Mediterranean diet, according to which the diet should have enough fish, olive oil, vegetables and … bread. Of course, not all types of bread (and not all types of carbohydrates) are the same.

Together with Vitaly Istomin, the chef of the Tekhnikum and Sakhalin restaurants, the author of the book “Neskuchny food” and the X-Fit expert, we understand all its diversity.


It is believed that the most wholesome bread is made from whole grains. The word “whole” is crucial here: it means that the bran and wheat kernels are left intact. Bread consists entirely of wheat grains (unlike other types, in the preparation of which other grains are used). Such bread is healthier than wheat. It is rich in beneficial nutrients: fiber, vitamin B, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper.

According to studies, whole grain bread helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (one slice of bread contains about 120 calories), heart disease, and even some types of cancer.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that many manufacturers on the bread label write that it is made from whole wheat, but in fact it turns out that it mainly consists of refined flour. It is worth looking for such instances so that whole grains flour is indicated in the composition in the first place. But sugar or vegetable oil should not be in the list of ingredients.

Vitaly IstominVitaly Istomin

Plain white bread

Cereal kernels consist of three parts: dense bran fibers, rich in nutrients of the embryos, and starchy endosperm. White bread is made from wheat grains that have been processed to remove bran and germ, leaving only the endosperm. Also, such bread has fewer nutrients than others.

Multigrain bread

Although it sounds very healthy (several types of grain!), There is no guarantee that the multi-grain bread is made from 100% whole grain or that it does not contain refined grains. It just means that it contains more than one type of grain, such as wheat, oats and quinoa. These grains can be processed to remove bran and germ, which deprives them of nutritional value (including fiber). Because of this, it may not be as useful as whole grain or whole grain bread.

Black bread

This is the most "Russian" version of bread. To make such a loaf, use rye flour plus various kinds of "darkers" such as malt. You can get the most benefit from rye bread if you use it in the first 36 hours after cooking. After this time, the baguette is rapidly losing its useful properties.

Rye bread

Like wheat, rye is a grain that can be used both in whole and in refined form. The bread is made from whole-grain rye flour of a dark color, while rye flour gives it a lighter shade. Rye has less gluten than wheat, so this bread is denser. It is made with leaven, and its taste is a bit sour.

Such bread contains a lot of protein, fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, B vitamins, phenolic antioxidant compounds and other vitamins and minerals, but it is low in fat.

Sourdough bread

Such bread is prepared without yeast, but on live yeast when a mixture of water and flour is ripened. Rye bread is an indispensable source of selenium. The use of starter cultures gives the bread a pleasant taste and aroma, enriches the product with vitamins, amino acids and other biologically active substances. Also, in the process of maturation of the starter culture, more antimicrobial substances are naturally formed in it – thanks to them, bread does not mold longer.

Bible Sprouted Grain Bread (Ezekiel's Bread)

While most types of bread contain added sugar, Ezekiel’s bread does not contain a single gram. It is also made from organic, sprouted whole grains. The process of germination significantly changes the nutritional composition of the grain.

According to legend, the famous biblical prophet Ezekiel, the Lord ordered 390 days to lie on his left side, without getting up. So he had to "suffer hard for the whole nation." But God provided his prophet with an amazing recipe for bread that Ezekiel ate every day.

Unlike regular white bread, which consists mainly of refined wheat or ground whole wheat, Ezekiel’s bread contains several different types of grains and legumes. It consists of four types of crops (wheat, malt, barley and spelled wheat), as well as two types of legumes (soy and lentils).

The only negative is that it is difficult to find it in our supermarkets, therefore it is worth finding a recipe and making it yourself, in a bread machine. In the US and Europe, it is sold in health food stores.

Oat bread

Oat bread is usually made from a mixture of oats, whole grain flour, yeast, water and salt. Oats contain a lot of fiber, magnesium, vitamin B1 (thiamine), iron and zinc. Fiber in oats, known as beta-glucan, can help lower cholesterol, normalize blood sugar and to lower high blood pressure.

Flax bread

Flax bread is made mainly from whole grain flour and flax seeds. Flax seeds are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-3 fatty acids. 27 studies have confirmed that if such bread is included in the diet, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases will be reduced and digestion will improve.

Moreover, flax seeds contain compounds called lignans, which can act as antioxidants and even protect against certain types of cancer. A study of 6,000 postmenopausal women found that those who regularly eat flaxseeds are 18 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who do not eat this product.

However, it is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between flaxseed consumption and cancer risk.

Gluten Free Bread

For its preparation, you can use oatmeal, corn, potato, but not wheat. This is a safe option for people with gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

Many people mistakenly believe that gluten-free bread is healthier than gluten-free bread. However, most gluten-free breads are made from refined flour, sugar and other unnecessary additives. Just a couple of years ago, buying such bread in our country was not an easy task, but now gluten-free bread can be found in the Utkonos, Fresh, Alphabet of Taste stores and, of course, in Lena Perminova’s bakery “Flax and Buckwheat” . In the assortment of the latter there are also yeast and buckwheat bread and bread rolls.

As for losing weight, they should avoid products made from flour of the first and highest grades. Of the nutrients in them, only proteins, fats and carbohydrates remained, with the latter the lion's share. It is better to give preference to whole-grain, yeast-free bread. It consists of complex carbohydrates that have a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract. If you really want yeast bread, then it is better to choose "yesterday", since the residual amount of yeast is reduced in slightly stale bread.

It is important to remember that bread itself is not very high in calories (256 calories per 100 grams). White, black or rye are not much different in calorie content and carbohydrate content. The difference is only in the glycemic index – this is the ability of the product to increase appetite, teaching meals. In this vein, definitely rye is significantly less harmful when dieting. There is also a life hack: store bread in the freezer. And before you eat, fry in the toaster. This trick will halve the rate of glucose absorption.


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