Fight the fads: Why you should be befriending bread

Bread doesn’t make you fat

Bread is one of the first things that people give up when trying to lose weight. However, bread is actually a really nutritious food that is filling (due to its high fibre content), contains important vitamins and minerals, and is relatively low in fat and calories.

Did you know that carbohydrates provide four kcal/gram whereas fat provides nine kcal/gram and alcohol provides seven kcal/gram? Many people demonise bread as a “fattening food”, yet your sandwich is likely to have a lot fewer calories than several of glasses of wine or a couple of pints.

Truth is, eating bread will not make you fat (unless like anything, you eat excessive amounts). Research has shown that wholegrain products can actually assist with weight loss. They satisfy our appetite and keep us full for longer, which helps us to control snacking! It’s what we add to bread (think toasties oozing with melted cheese, toast slathered in butter) that makes it fattening.

What has the research found? According to the British Dietetic Association, diets rich in whole grain foods are low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers (such as bowel cancer). Fibre also provides a food source for ‘friendly’ gut bacteria promoting gut health.

Some people claim that bread makes them bloated. It’s become increasingly trendy to opt for  Gluten-free breads, but unless you have a diagnosed gluten problem or irritable bowel syndrome, there is no need to.

Our top tips:

✅ Opt for seeded/granary wholemeal bread.

✅ Two slices will provide you with approx. 4.4g fibre (you should be aiming to eat 30g of fibre/day).

Be cautious: glammed-up loaves described as “farmhouse” “seeded” or “multigrain” aren’t necessarily wholegrain.

✅ Generally speaking, the darker the bread, the better it is for you!

We are three student dietitians at King’s: Elisabeth, Caroline and Harriet. Together, we’re Fight The Fads, a myth-busting group who tackle myths about dieting in the media and set the records straight with regular posts on FacebookInstagramTwitter (@fightthefads).