Nowadays, everyone seems to be on a diet. With the ever-popular low carbohydrate diet, it seems that many dieters are afraid of bread. In truth, bread provides many essential nutrients and fits perfectly into a well-balanced diet.
However, it is true that not all bread is the same. Some are healthier for you than others. It is important to know what to look for in order to make the right choices in the bread aisle at your local grocery store.
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Here are some tips for choosing healthy, nutrient dense bread from the many options available in stores.
It starts with the type of flour used to make the bread. People have been trained to think that if bread is made from whole wheat, it is automatically healthy. This is not true. Whole wheat is not the same as whole grain, that's what you really need.
Whole grains mean that bran, germ and endosperm are used in the making of flour. The bran and germ contain the majority of nutrients, fiber and other health-protective compounds.
To determine whether bread is made from whole grains, "whole wheat" flour should be listed as the first ingredient. The fiber content will be about 2 to 4 grams per slice.
Beware of breads containing partially hydrogenated oils. Also known as trans fatty acids, research has shown that these types of oils can increase cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol levels have been associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.