Brilliant Bread – The Real Story
There are very few foods that have as much to offer as bread. It’s versatile, convenient, tasty and most importantly its good for us too! Bread is a source of a wide range of nutrients including protein, folic acid, fibre and vitamins and minerals including iron. Irish bread in particular is world class, in terms of quality, provenance and taste.
Despite the value it can play as part of a healthy balanced diet, there are many misconceptions about bread which Registered Dietitian Dr Mary McCreery is keen to dispel. “All breads are nutritious. Bread supplies a significant portion of the nutrients needed for growth, maintenance of health and wellbeing. For example, Irish people get more iron from white bread than they do from meat or fish dishes and it is also the second highest contributor to the calcium intake of the Irish population.”
Here are Dr McCreery’s top myth busting facts about bread:
Bread does not make you fat: There is no evidence that bread causes weight gain. A recent study published in the Journal of Cereal Science(1) dispelled the myth that consuming wheat causes sickness or obesity, and concluded that there was no grounds to advise the public not consume bread.
Bread does not cause bloating: A review by the British Nutrition Foundation(2) on this topic concluded that there was no scientific evidence that regular consumption of any kind of bread causes bloating or digestive problems.
Irish bread is not high in fat and sugar: Irish bread is amongst the best in the world and is actually low in fat and sugar. Both brown and white Irish bread provide just 1% of the fat(3) content of the Irish diet.
Bread is not just empty calories: Bread provides a host of nutrients that help to keep us well. White bread provides 9% of our daily fibre and wholemeal bread even more. In fact, research by the Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) found that bread provides as much as 10% of Irish peoples’ daily intake of protein and folic acid.
(1) Journal of Cereal Science, September 2013, Volume 58, issue 2
(2) British Nutrition Foundation, Weichselbaum 2012
(3) Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA)