Over the years, the reputation of bread has not really been that good. Mass-produced loaves have a tendency to favor chemical additives and bleached flours instead of wholesome ingredients and whole grains.
Gluten-free and low-carb diets have also become more and more popular over the last few decades. Unfortunately, this has added to the stigma and negativity generally associated with bread's reputation.
That said, today's modern-day bread actually has far more whole grain options. However, even bread made with the use of whole grains contains refined sugar, vegetable oils, and added salt. These are used to improve the mouthfeel and flavor of the bread.
Healthy, Good Quality Bread
Quality bread-baking is now very much the same in principle as that of our ancestors:
Use fewer ingredients
Use nutritious grains
Make sure to have a natural approach
Here are some of the key things to know when it comes to buying bread:
Grains In the Bread
Bread generally tends to be made with whole grains. That doesn’t mean they’re made of 100 percent whole grains. To make sure your bread is a whole grain one, look for the words "100% Whole Grain" on the package. Whole wheat, rye, oats, millet, and flax are some grains that provide more fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals than their refined counterparts.
Sourdough is an exception to this. While not made with whole grains, it undergoes a natural fermentation process that adds to how healthy it is.
Some types of bread are high in sodium. As an essential nutrient, sodium is important for having the right balance of fluids in your body. When it comes to bread, however, it's still important to stay within the recommended amount. A limit of 2300 mg per day will certainly help things along.
It should be noted that some types of bread actually have less than 100 mg of sodium. Those kinds make for an excellent choice if you’re cutting your sodium intake.
The best way to ensure bread is wholesome is to try and stick to as few ingredients as possible for that minimal approach. Typical ingredients used include water, yeast, and flour.
Some kinds of bread are sweetened with sugar. Some, like whole wheat and multigrain, are not. However, a slice of bread can contain as much as 6 grams of sugar, which adds up fast. If you put your sandwich on a slice of bread with sugar in it, you might consume 12 grams of sugar from just the bread.
The bread sweetener most people tend to make use of is honey. As long as the sugar content stays relatively the same, that should be fine. Ideally, everyday bread should be made with no added sugar at all.
Who doesn't love freshly baked bread? While it may seem convenient to get bread from other sources, buying from an actual bakery affords a plethora of choices. It's also a great way to really explore things to consider, such as sugar content and the number of ingredients involved.
In need of Norwegian baked goods? Check out Ana’s Norwegian Bakeri. We’re a bakery whose specialty is Norwegian baked goods and pastries. Visit us today!