Some people declare that they don’t eat white bread, but do they eat baguettes? Artisan bread? Italian ciabatta? Even traditional pizza? Of course, they do! But from a nutritional standpoint, many of these products are similar to white bread, and from a digestive perspective, their bodies can’t tell the difference. Even high-fiber bread and whole grain rolls often contain enriched flour, but with an added-value benefit.
That’s why Len Heflich, Baking & Snack contributing editor, observed in his December column that baked foods in general, and bread specifically, are good sources of dietary fiber.
“In fact, bread and baked goods are the largest source of fiber in most people’s diet, so when they go gluten-free or keto, they are eliminating a significant amount of fiber from it,” he pointed out. “Even ‘evil’ white bread contains 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, which is about the same as kale, broccoli and asparagus.”
He added whole wheat bread contains 6.5 grams per 100 grams, more than triple those vegetables. The U.S.D.A. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 33 and 38 grams fiber, respectively, for women and men.
“Veggies are great but getting more than 30 grams fiber will take more than broccoli,” he said. “We need baked goods in our diet.”
Fiber does a lot more than people think. The bacteria in our intestines control literally every function in the body from the immune system to our brains and the mood we’re feeling each day. Moreover, most white bread contains enriched grains that contain a host of critical nutritional benefits. So enjoy that kale and broccoli salad, but make sure you eat a lot of it so that you feel like a “regular” person in the long run.