It's probably one of the most hotly debated topics amongst those with an interest in health and nutrition – should we be avoiding bread completely? Read on to find out our opinion on the subject.
As a dietician, I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard the statement “I am trying to not eat bread but I just love it so much”. There is no doubt that a slice of warm, soft, fresh bread decked with your favourite topping is extremely satisfying. Apart from its taste, its versatility makes it a staple that many people rely on – toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, or as a side for soup, a stew or a salad. The possibilities are endless.
But is bread something we should be eating every day, let alone several times a day? This is how we at TasteBox feel about it:
If you are someone who is dealing with excess weight, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or diabetes, it is probably best to look at your overall carbohydrate intake, of which bread is a part of. This may not mean cutting it out completely, but speaking with a dietician who can advise you on that would be a great place to start.
If you have a gluten or wheat intolerance, which causes digestive issues and discomfort; you may need to look at sources of gluten and wheat in your diet, such as bread. Again, speaking with a professional who can guide you on this is the way to go.
If you have none of the above issues but are concerned about whether bread is classified as “healthy or unhealthy”, we need to look at the type of bread you are choosing. Mass or commercially produced bread can be high in salt, which is not ideal. It may also be made with flour which has been stripped bare of all its goodness. Not to mention the preservatives added which help to lengthen the shelf life of the bread. Compare this to a loaf you yourself make or a small scale bakery would make – likely to be made with good quality flour, just enough salt to add flavour but not so much to get your blood pressure up and very little to no preservatives.
I always like to encourage people to, as far as possible, prepare their own food at home. Luckily, we live in a time of technology, and bread making doesn’t necessarily have to be a long, drawn-out process (although if you have the time and patience, there is nothing quite like a homemade sourdough bread….simply divine). Personally, I absolutely love my Mellarware Ma Baker III bread maker. I pop the ingredients in and a couple of hours later I have a hot, fresh loaf of homemade bread. The timer function is ingenious, I can even put the ingredients in before going to bed and wake up in the morning to the smell of fresh bread; which happens to be a great side to an oven-baked omlette. I choose to use a stoneground, unbleached, non-GMO flour to make my bread.
Even if you don’t have a bread maker, there are simple bread recipes that we at TasteBox love. Several of our meals incorporate homemade flatbreads, which are made in a matter of minutes using only plain yoghurt, salt, and flour. Sound good? Give our recipe a try.
TasteBox Flatbread Recipe
- 280 g flour
- 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
- 300 ml plain full cream yoghurt
- In a large bowl, add the flour and salt. Pour in the yoghurt and use a wooden spoon to combine it.
- Using clean hands, knead the dough until it "smooths out" and becomes a slightly sticky ball of dough.
- Divide the ball into 4 or 5 pieces. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and use your hands to flatten each ball into a roundish flatbread.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan. Pop one of your flatbreads in the pan to coat one side with oil, immediately flip over and let it cook on the other side. Once it is nicely browned on that side, flip it over and cook the other side.
Voila! You have a quick and easy flatbread to pair with anything you desire - try it as a lunch, as a side for a hearty chicken and vegetable soup, or use it as a supper topped with chicken strips, leafy greens, and a tangy lemon dressing.