Let’s talk about our “daily bread.” It is one of the oldest man-made foods. Throughout recorded history, bread has been a staple food in large parts of the world. It’s the food that is eaten routinely and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a standard diet for a given people, supplying a major fraction of energy needs and generally forming a significant proportion of the intake of other nutrients as well.

Not so long ago, relatively few people had ever heard of gluten. But the interest and enthusiasm surrounding the gluten-free food movement in recent years has been remarkable.

Gluten-free bread is dramatically different from regular bread

Now that you have the lowdown on what makes up your gluten-free loaf from the supermarket, it’s pretty apparent that gluten free bread is nutritionally vastly different from regular loaves.

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

White bread

White bread is made from wheat flour from which the bran and the germ layers have been removed (and set aside) from the whole grain as part of the flour grinding or milling process. Removing the natural oils from the whole grain can give white flour a longer shelf life: it can be stored for longer periods of time avoiding potential rancidity.

The flour used in white breads are bleached further by the use of chemicals such as potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide, or chlorine dioxide gas to remove any slight, natural yellow shade and make its baking properties more predictable. This is banned in the EU and some other countries.

White bread fortification

While bran and wheat germ discarding milling process can help improve white flour’s shelf life, it does remove nutrients like some dietary fiber, iron, B vitamins, micronutrients and essential fatty acids.

Since 1941, fortification of white flour-based foods with some of the nutrients lost in milling was mandated by the US government in response to the vast nutrient deficiencies seen in US military recruits at the start of World War II. This fortification led to nearly universal eradication of deficiency diseases in the US, such as pellagra and beriberi. Folic acid is another nutrient that some governments have mandated is added to enriched grains like white bread. In the US and Canada, these grains have been fortified with mandatory levels of folic acid since 1998 because of its important role in preventing birth defects.

Whole-Wheat Bread

A type of bread made using flour that is partly or entirely milled from whole or almost-whole wheat grains is whole wheat bread. White bread contains 1/2 of the magnesium found in whole-wheat bread.

The exact composition of products legally marketable as “whole wheat bread” varies from country to country and even within one country. Generally, there are two major categories of whole wheat bread:

  1. the bread is made with whole-grain flour that contains all of the component parts of the grain in the same ratios as they occur in nature
  2. the bread may include only representative amounts of bran or wheat germ.

For example, in Canada, the wheat germ may be removed from the flour to reduce the risk of rancidity, but the term “whole-wheat bread” is still used.

Wheat bread

The term “wheat bread” is sometimes used as a marketing trick to give the impression of a “healthy” food product, but this is at best an ambiguous term and potentially deceptive practice.

The majority of what is marketed in the USA under the name “wheat bread” has very little whole grain content, and is made primarily of white flour, with caramel colouring added to them to give an illusion of a higher whole wheat content.

Whole-Wheat Bread Nutrition Facts

Amount per 1 slice (28 g) & % Daily Value* (Sources: USDA):

  • Calories 69
  • Total Fat 0.9 g – 1%
  • Saturated fat 0.2 g – 1%
  • Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg – 0%
  • Sodium 112 mg – 4%
  • Potassium 70 mg – 1%
  • Total Carbohydrate 12 g – 4%
  • Dietary fiber 1.9 g – 7%
  • Sugar 1.6 g
  • Protein 3.6g – 7%
  • Vitamin A – 0%
  • Vitamin B-6 – 5%
  • Vitamin C – 0%
  • Vitamin D – 0%
  • Calcium – 3%
  • Iron – 3%
  • Cobalamin – 0%
  • Magnesium – 5%

*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Rye bread

Rye bread is a type of bread made with various proportions of flour from rye grain. It can be light or dark in color, depending on the type of flour used and the addition of coloring agents, and is typically denser than bread made from wheat flour. It is higher in fiber than white bread and is darker in colour and stronger in flavour.

Rye bread was considered a staple through the Middle Ages. Many different types of rye grain have come from north-central, western, and eastern European countries

Compared to white bread, rye bread contains a large amount of fiber and a small amount of fat. Also, rye bread has a lower glycemic index, which means it causes a slower increase in blood sugar than white bread after being eaten.

Rye Bread Nutrition Facts

Amount per 1 slice, regular (32 g) & % Daily Value* (Sources: USDA):

  • Calories 83
  • Total Fat 1.1 g – 3%
  • Saturated fat 0.2 g – 1%
  • Polyunsaturated fat 0.3 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg – 0%
  • Sodium 193 mg – 8%
  • Potassium 53 mg – 1%
  • Total Carbohydrate 15 g – 5%
  • Dietary fiber 1.9 g – 7%
  • Sugar 1.2 g
  • Protein 2.7 g – 5%
  • Vitamin A – 0%
  • Vitamin B-6 – 5%
  • Vitamin C – 0%
  • Vitamin D – 0%
  • Calcium – 2%
  • Iron – 4%
  • Cobalamin – 0%
  • Magnesium – 3%

*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Barley – cereal grain

Barley is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It was one of the first cultivated grains, particularly in Eurasia as early as 10,000 years ago. Barley has been used as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation.

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?Barley bread is a type of bread made from barley flour. In the British Isles it is a bread which dates back to the Iron Age. Today, it is commonly blended (in a smaller proportion) with wheat to make conventional bread making flour.

In 2017, barley was ranked fourth among grains in quantity produced (149 million tons) behind maize, rice and wheat.

Nutrition

In a 100 gram serving, cooked barley provides 123 kilocalories and is a good source (10% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of essential nutrients, including, dietary fiber, the B vitamin, niacin (14% DV), and dietary minerals including iron (10% DV) and manganese (12% DV) (table).

So, gluten-free bread or regular bread?

If you want to switch to gluten-free breads, before doing so, you have to read recent reviews that expand the current knowledge on gluten-free breads manufacturing, giving a panoramic outlook on the current situation in the gluten-free bread market.

In 2019, a group of scientists examined the ingredients in 228 commercially available gluten-free breads from 12 countries.

A long list of ingredients was observed in commercial gluten free breads, with the presence of a wide range of additives, including acidifiers, emulsifiers, leavening agents, preservatives, and aromas or flavourings. A breakdown of ingredients showed that gluten free breads have seven groups of ingredients, all with various roles to play.

While going for the gluten-free loaf isn’t an option for many people, having a better understanding of what is in your gluten-free substitutes can be a useful tool in helping you to maintain a nutritionally balanced, healthy diet.

The ingredient list of commercial enriched whole grain gluten-free bread

  1. brown rice flour
  2. tapioca starch
  3. corn starch, flax seeds
  4. sunflower seeds
  5. buckwheat flour
  6. thiamine (vitamin b1)
  7. riboflavin (vitamin b2)
  8. niacin
  9. iron
  10. folate
  11. water
  12. dried egg-white
  13. yeast
  14. citric acid
  15. soybean and/or canola oil
  16. chicory root inulin
  17. sugar
  18. xanthan gum
  19. salt
  20. vegetable monoglycerides
  21. calcium propionate
  22. modified cellusose
  23. sorbic acid
  24. calcium carbonate
  25. calcium pantothenate
  26. calcium sulphate
  27. pyridoxine hydrochloride
  28. tricalcium phosphate
  29. enzyme
  30. may contain sesame seeds and soy

Now that you have the breakdown on what makes up your gluten-free loaf from the supermarket, it’s pretty apparent that gluten free bread is vastly different from regular loaves.

We’ve provided you with this information in hope that it’ll help you make informed food choices.

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

Gluten-free bread or regular bread?

 

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