Forget the myths!: Bread is healthy and does not make you fat

The Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (Seedo) recommends including bread and cereals in the diet, especially whole grains, considering them “great allies for a healthy, balanced and varied diet”.

An idea that stands out in a report published in collaboration with the Bread Every Day initiative. “Along with fruit and vegetables, tubers and vegetables, cereals and their derivatives, they constitute the pillars of a healthy diet,” adds Francisco Tinahones, president of the Seedo.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most of the energy in the diet should come from carbohydrates. For this reason, they believe in Seedo, we should include cereals in all our main meals to reach the carbohydrate intake recommended by the WHO.

A very healthy option

“To achieve this, bread can be a very healthy option that, in addition, can be consumed in multiple ways. As for the amount of bread that should be eaten, this will depend on the caloric needs of each person, but also on the other cereals that we include in our diet”, they maintain in Seedo.

Bread is a food that is made with flour from the grinding of cereal, water, yeast and/or sourdough and salt. Traditionally it is made with wheat flour, but today we can find spelled, corn, rye bread, without salt… “The varieties are endless, but in recent times wholemeal bread has become one of the most popular options. defendants.

Mainly because they contain a large amount of fiber (8.5 grams of fiber per 100 of bread), vitamins, especially from group B, minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus, and antioxidant substances thanks to the fact that whole grains retain their germ and bran”, point out in Seedo

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Increases the feeling of satiety

That high fiber content, they explain in this scientific society, “helps to combat overweight and obesity by increasing the feeling of satiety, decreases cardiovascular risk, modulates intestinal macrobiotics, helps in the prevention of some types of cancer, such as colon, and contributes to the control of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

The variety of wholemeal or whole grain bread is the one that keeps all three layers of the cereal intact. White flours, on the other hand, only contain the endosperm part of the cereal (starch).

The WHO recommends the consumption of whole grains for their high fiber content to reach the 25 grams of recommended daily dietary fiber. This premise can be fulfilled by consuming three pieces of fruit, 200 grams of vegetables, 50 of legumes and 100 of whole wheat bread. In Seedo they regret that there are false beliefs about the calorie intake of bread, when the reality is that it contains 240 per 100 grams.

bread is not fattening

Ceopan (Spanish Confederation of Bakery Organizations) echoes different studies that ensure that the consumption of bread is not responsible for weight gain.

Specifically, the study Influence of bread consumption on weight status: systematic review, carried out by doctors Lluis Serra Majem and Inmaculada Bautista, from the Nutrition Research Group of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, asserts that a diet rich in bread, especially in the case of wholemeal bread, favors a decrease in weight, waist circumference and body mass index.

In this sense, a study Comparison of the usefulness of two balanced hypocaloric diets with inclusion versus exclusion of bread in the treatment of overweight and obese patients, coordinated by Dr. Carmen Gómez Candela, head of the Clinical Dietetic Nutrition Unit of Hospital La Paz de Madrid, concluded that the inclusion of bread in a slimming diet did not influence the weight of individuals and, furthermore, it helped to better follow the diet.

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The results of this study showed that the group that followed the diet with bread significantly improved their caloric profile and came closer to the nutritional recommendations of the experts, reducing fat intake and increasing carbohydrate intake, so the researchers found that the exclusion of bread in the diet has a negative impact on the caloric profile.

good for kids

Finally, the study Eating habits, energy and nutrient intake and suffering from overweight/obesity in Spanish schoolchildren. Differences depending on their consumption of bread, carried out by Dr. Rosa María Ortega, professor of nutrition at the Complutense University of Madrid, shows that the percentage of overweight/obese children is lower in schoolchildren who ate more bread .

Similarly, children with a higher consumption of bread had adequate diets and better results in blood parameters.

The crust has more calories

On the other hand, in Ceopan they state that the only difference between the crust and the breadcrumb is that the former dehydrates earlier during baking, while the crumb retains the water, thus maintaining its more spongy appearance.

In this direction, Dr. Castillo Sánchez, in his review Erroneous beliefs about food, points out that this fact means that the crumb has fewer nutrients and, therefore, its caloric intake is lower than that of the crust.

This means that, contrary to popular belief, for equal weight, the crust provides more calories than the crumb. Ceopan concludes that bread, in moderate amounts, provides fiber, a certain amount of protein, very few lipids, and important minerals and essential vitamins.

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