Stoic protagonist of the Mediterranean diet, bread is witnessing a new rise in modern cuisine, thanks to the rediscovery of crafts and the return of ancient grains. A food invented by man, whose genuineness brings back to the simplicity and sustainability of the past is now enhanced.
Dietary qualities and nutritional values
Faced with the difficulty of distinguishing between the basic product and its improper use, many dieticians have preferred to ban bread rather than try to educate consumers.
Today, we can definitely say that bread is an excellent source of nutrients.
What is the role of complex carbohydrates?
The term "carbohydrates" includes all foods that contain mainly sugars but do not have a sweet taste. After being converted into glucose, carbohydrates can be used by cells to produce energy, they can be stored in the form of glycogen in the blood and muscles or transformed into fat if the glycogen reserves are saturated.
These sugars are considered as "slow" ones. It has been discovered that they slowly and continuously diffuse their energy in the body, unlike the rapid sugars found in sweets and in some hyper-energetic foods, which release immediate energy, though for a short period.
Here are the reasons why bread is a food perfectly suited to a balanced diet.
- It has a low fat content: common bread contains only 1% fat, unsaturated fatty acids useful for the body, such as linoleic acid, which has a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. NB: Fried and “improved” bread, as well as rusks, are often supplemented with fat.
- The slow carbohydrate intake: in our diet, we must distinguish between fast-absorbing carbohydrates (sugar, honey and fruit) and slow-absorbing carbohydrates (mainly starch present in starchy foods and bread (55 g per 100 g). Slow carbohydrates provide a longer satiating effect, a benefit recently rediscovered by athletes who take large amounts before training or long efforts.
- The role of fibres intake: bread contains dietary fibres that vary depending on the type of flour used: from 0.3% for white bread to more than 1.5% for the so-called wholemeal bread. These fibres, not assimilated by the body, favour the intestinal transit by evacuating the other substances and thus making part of the calories ingested ineffective.
- High in vitamin content: it provides B vitamins and magnesium, phosphorus and iron, which promote growth and combat cellular aging (wholemeal bread contains 3 times more magnesium and Vitamin E than white bread).
- It provides “green” proteins: these are proteins of vegetable origin, low in fat, excellent for muscle tissue.
- Easily digestible, ideal as a substitute for pasta during the lunch break, bread is also easy to combine with a wide variety of other foods: meat, fish, vegetables, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It is also an excellent source of complex carbohydrates for breakfast: a slice of 50 g of common bread with jam or honey, a glass of milk and a portion of fruit, is a balanced and simple breakfast suitable for all ages.
In short, at any time of the day and with any type of "filling", bread is really a food that we hardly manage – or should - give up.
Bread, what a healthy food!
As Italians grandparents like to say, nothing as good as bread
We can truly stand by this popular saying if we know what good and genuine bread looks like, how it is made and how we can eat it properly.