If you’re trying to lose weight, bread may be one of the many things you need to minimize or eliminate from your diet. However, this may be challenging for most people, especially since bread is a diet staple in most countries.
But did you know that bread can still help in weight loss? While most types of bread have lots of carbohydrates with little nutritional value, specific healthy bread contains fibers, vitamins, and minerals that can go well with your healthy lifestyle.
So before you go on a crash diet and make dramatic changes in your diet, we’ve listed four of the healthiest bread options in the market. Know about their benefits and see how they can help you shed those extra pounds without worsening your existing medical condition.
Whole-wheat bread is one of the healthiest bread options out there. Whole-wheat retains its entire grain structure during the manufacturing process, allowing it to keep the bran, germ, and endosperm in it.
The bran is the hard outer shell containing:
Meanwhile, the germ is the inner layer that contains:
- Vitamins (Vitamin E)
- Plant compounds
The endosperm is mostly starch.
Whole-wheat bread is far more nutritious compared to the ones made with refined grains since it keeps these nutrients. Refined grains are stripped of valuable nutrients and minerals and only retain mostly starch in their contents.
Whole-wheat bread has been linked to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It is also great for reducing weight based on a 2018 study wherein whole-wheat bread consumption contributed to reducing visceral fat in one’s body. Those who were consuming refined grains, on the other hand, didn’t experience such changes.
Always remember to check the ingredients before integrating whole-wheat bread into your diet. Some manufacturers will label their products whole-wheat despite the bread containing mostly refined flour and having little to no whole-wheat grains.
Sprouted Grain Bread
Sprouted grain bread is harvested at a specific time to acquire particular nutrients. This timing makes it even better than whole-grain bread as the sprouting process absorbs water. This particular process makes sprouted grain have fewer calories compared to whole-grain flour, making it a good choice for those who want to lose weight.
Additionally, the germination process breaks down the starch in the grain to reduce its carbohydrates. It will also make you feel fuller for a longer time as sprouted grain bread is packed with more protein. This bread is also one of the healthiest types of bread in the world due to its low-carb, high-fiber factor. It has a significantly reduced glycemic index compared to 11-grain, 12-grain, and white bread. Glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of how certain food increases blood sugar levels. Foods high in GI will intensify your hunger and lead to overeating.
Another benefit of harvesting grain at its point of germination is the reduction of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antinutrient that prevents the absorption of zinc, iron, and calcium. By significantly reducing this antinutrient, it can increase iron absorption from 50 up to 200 percent.
Lastly, sprouted grain bread is high in enzymes, which helps in proper digestion. They’re also low in lectin, which is associated with chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Another healthy bread option for you is sourdough bread. The fermentation process of making this bread creates short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, acetate, and propionate.
Propionate is essential for weight loss as it creates a sensation of fullness and satiety for regulating your cravings. Acetate and butyrate also help control your appetite as it regulates the production of your gut hormones.
Similar to sprouted grain bread, sourdough also reduces phytic acid by over 50 percent during the fermentation process. Sourdough also contains prebiotics and probiotics. By obtaining a healthy balance of both, you’re keeping your digestive system healthy and efficient.
As for choosing the type of sourdough for you, always settle for the ones made with whole-wheat grain. White flour still has all the listed benefits of the fermentation process, but the whole-wheat grain has all those, along with more fiber, iron, and other nutrients.
What makes oat bread one of the healthiest bread to eat is that it contains beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a type of fiber that helps regulate your blood sugar levels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol, and lowers high blood pressure.
According to a review of 28 studies in 2014, eating three grams or more of oat beta-glucan per day reduces LDL and total cholesterol levels considerably. This drastic change is more evident in people with a higher baseline cholesterol level.
Apart from beta-glucan, oat bread is also rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B1 (thiamine). What’s more, oat bread is beneficial for older people as it can help with constipation due to its fiber-rich content.
Similar to the other healthy bread listed above, you’ll need to be vigilant with your food choices. Some oat bread only contains a small number of oats, oils, and added sugar. These ingredients are then mixed with refined flour. Look for brands that list oat and whole wheat flour as their primary ingredients and refrain from consuming oat bread with added sugar.
Choosing the Healthiest Bread for Your Diet
To sum it up, always look for bread made using whole grain flour or sprouted grain flour. Choose specific bread options to complement your healthy lifestyle and refrain from consuming those that can expose you to other diseases or worsen your current condition. Always remember to eat these foods in moderation to achieve the best results.
For more diet, fitness, and healthy lifestyle changes, visit the LifeClinic blog.