Bread as part of a healthy lifestyle
Why bread is an important part of a balanced diet- whatever age you are
Every year in January, people start getting active again after Christmas and try to burn off the excesses of the festive period. We join gyms, we start walking, and we look at our diets to make sure we’re eating all the right things. The basics of a balanced diet never change though, and one of elements – carbohydrates – is really essential to maintain our bodies so we can function properly.
Bread can provide the necessary carbohydrates to give our bodies the constant supply of energy to function properly and carry out daily activities and exercise. Carbohydrates are vital to ensure the brain, heart, nervous, digestive and immune systems work correctly. Furthermore, a lack of carbohydrate in the diet can result in tiredness, fatigue, poor mental function and a lack of endurance or stamina.
Bread is very much a staple part of our diet. According to research¹ that was done for the IBBA, lunchtime in Ireland is when most people eat bread (70%). Over half (51%) start their day with it at breakfast, with one in five loving some bread with their evening meal. Bread is an affordable and nutritious food, it’s baked freshly every day, and as well as being a good source of carbohydrate, it contains vitamins, calcium, iron, protein, fibre and folic acid.
“But isn’t bread fattening?” I hear you cry? The simple answer is No! White and wholemeal bread are officially low in fat - take a look at the Nutritional Label on wrapped sliced pan to see g/100g.All foods that have less than 3% fat are legally considered to be low fat. No fat is added to white bread.
The Irish Universities Nutritional Alliance (IUNA) report², published in 2016, found that there are many health benefits to eating bread, noting that it contributes 20% to our fibre intake and 9% to our protein intake, while white bread contributes only 1% each to our daily fat and sugar intake.
While sandwiches remain the most typical way people in Ireland eat bread, its versatility makes it a popular food. From a slice of toast at breakfast to an accompaniment to a bowl of soup, French toast to Bread and Butter pudding, it’s not surprising that the sliced pan is still an important part of our lives and our diet in Ireland.
Like all good foods, it’s important that bread should be an important part of a balanced diet. It is good value and is a source of many of the nutrients our bodies need, whatever your age. So, the next time you hear somebody making the claim that it is unhealthy or fattening, then just remember that hard scientific research proves the contrary.
Keep eating bread, it’s good for you!
For more information:
- Research was conducted as part of the iReach Consumer Omnibus Survey during February 2019 on a nationwide sample of 1,001 adults.
- Report is the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) Report on the Pattern of White and Wholemeal Bread Consumption in Irish Adults and Pre-School Children, (September 2016)
- Federation of Bakers - https://www.fob.uk.com/nutrition-and-health/#:~:text=Bread%20contains%20a%20wide%20range,healthy%20skin%2C%20eyes%20and%20nails
- NHS – Live Well Eat Well - https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/food-types/starchy-foods-and-carbohydrates/#:~:text=Bread%2C%20especially%20wholemeal%2C%20granary%2C,a%20wide%20range%20of%20minerals
- HSE – Eating Healthy Guidelines - https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/our-priority-programmes/heal/healthy-eating-guidelines/