Bread has always been looked at as a source of weight gain. While this is somewhat true, there are certain types of bread that support a healthier lifestyle. But just to be clear, I personally don’t believe that there is one best bread for weight loss. The best choice will always depend on your lifestyle and preferences. To give you a place to start with your weight loss journey, I’ve listed the best two types of bread to lose weight below.
While there is no bread that can make us lose weight, there are some types that are healthier than others. Sprouted whole grain bread and 100% whole wheat bread is a great way to help weight loss. These two are good sources of fibre and nutrients while being lower in calories than most types of bread.
Does bread make you gain weight?
It’s not necessarily the type of food, but it’s the amount of food that we consume that makes us gain weight. Flour contains around 70-80% carbohydrates which break down into sugars during the dough production process or in our bodies.
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We all gain weight when we take in more calories than our body burns. These unburned calories are stored by the body and they turn into fats. So when you are taking in more calories than your body needs, regardless of what food it is, you will gain weight.
Why does bread have a bad reputation for making us gain weight?
Bread is usually made up mainly of flour, which is very high in carbohydrates. But carbohydrates are not entirely bad for us as they give our bodies energy when they’re broken down into sugar. However, if we do not use this energy, it will be stored as fats. And the more unnecessary carbohydrates consumed, the more will be turned into fat.
There are bread and other baked goods, especially commercial ones, that contain refined ingredients. These refined ingredients are high in calorie count but low in nutrients. So the more we consume these refined products, the less nutritional value we get back.
But it’s not just refined carbohydrates, many commercial products are enriched with sugars and fats. These can make our blood sugar levels spike up and increase the amount of fat in the body.
When blood sugar levels are too high, it can cause us to gain weight. More importantly, it also poses us with serious problems like diabetes and heart diseases.
Most bread contains gluten, which some people are intolerant to. These are people with celiac disease who cannot digest gluten-rich food. Studies state that just 1 in 100 of us cannot consume gluten. Whereas 10% of people have a slight intolerance so shouldn’t eat too much.
2 healthy types of bread that can help in weight loss
Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
Sprouted Whole Grain Bread is made from whole grains that started to sprout or germinate. Because of the sprouting process, the grains offer several nutritional benefits that other grains will not be able to provide. It also keeps the bread’s glycemic index lower, which means it will have a lower impact on blood sugar levels.
Sprouted grain bread is rich in vitamin A, folic acid, and B vitamins. It is also high in dietary fibre which aids in digestion and reduces cholesterol levels. This bread is also found to be rich in essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. Besides the nutritional benefits, it’s also found that sprouted grains keep you fuller for a longer period of time.
A great example of sprouted grain bread is Ezekiel. It’s made from organic whole grains, legumes, and seeds that have been sprouted to increase their nutritional value. They are then slow-baked at a low temperature to preserve the nutrients inside.
The grains used in Ezekiel bread include wheat, barley, spelt, millet, lentils, and more. These loaves of bread are rich in fibre which helps keep you full after a meal. They have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids which reduces cholesterol levels. They’re also free from sugar and other artificial preservatives or additives.
A 34-gram slice of Ezekiel sprouted bread contains:
- Calories: 80
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Carbs: 15 grams
- Fibre: 3 grams
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Although there is no sprouting process involved, whole wheat bread is still considered a great choice in losing weight. Whole wheat bread is made from whole wheat flour that contains all of the grain’s parts – the bran, germ, and endosperm. As the endosperm is made up of mostly starch, the bran, which is the hard outer layer, is high in fibre. Having a high fibre content means whole wheat bread is good for digestion. Both the bran and germ also contain essential vitamins and minerals.
All of these are good, as it makes us feel full for a longer period of time. Which, of course, will be good for weight loss as it will prevent us from consuming more food. On top of fibre, it’s also a great source of protein and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and selenium.
Whole grains contain high amounts of antioxidants that help repair the damage done by free radicals in our bodies. This is why whole grains are linked to decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
A 100% whole wheat bread is a great breakfast option, but it’s also good for snacks and sandwiches. There are many different flavours so you can have a different taste with each bread serving.
A 46 gram slice of plain whole-wheat bread contains:
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Carbs: 23 grams
- Fibre: 4 grams
White Bread vs Sprouted Whole Grains and Whole Wheat
White bread is the most common bread that is available in the market. Although it’s a simple type of bread, it has the lowest nutritional value among the three types. This is because white supermarket bread is also known as “refined bread”. They tend to use low quality flour, a short fermentation period and extra processing ingredients.
Some white bread also uses bleaching agents to ensure the bread’s white colour and for it to last longer. These methods are starting to die out, mainly because of the drive in the food production sector to switch to “clean label recipes”. This means it is not the best bread to lose weight!
As for the sprouted and whole wheat bread, they don’t raise blood sugar levels as much as white bread does. They both have higher amounts of protein, minerals, and dietary fibre. They also slow down the absorption of sugars in your bloodstream to provide a slow release of energy. This is beneficial for those who are trying to lose weight, as it will keep them feeling full and satisfied long after eating them.
Tips on what to eat with your sandwich
While eating plain bread isn’t that much fun, you can still spruce it up with the right fillings! You can follow these steps to make your bread more appealing, but still healthy for you.
- Hummus is a healthy choice for those wanting to go meatless on their sandwich. With its high protein content, it will definitely keep you satiated for a long time. It’s a plant-based food made from sesame seeds, garlic and chickpeas.
- Try to avoid high-calorie toppings like butter, cheese, and mayonnaise in your sandwich. They can add up a lot of calories and fat without you realising! A better alternative is to use a spread like mustard, guacamole, or a low-calorie sauce.
- Olives contain antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Try to add fresh veggies like tomatoes or cucumbers for extra nutrients, fibre, and flavour.
- Using lean meats like chicken, ham, and turkey are good choices to bring out the flavour of your sandwich bread. Just always make sure to remove any unwanted extra fats before putting them on your bread.
- Eating a sandwich every day can be very routine and uninteresting. Try to mix and match the filling ingredients to always keep your sandwich fresh and tasty. There are a lot of ways you can do this, so just be creative and experiment on what works best for you.