It’s time for a gut check. That’s right. Digestive health may emerge as “the trend” for this year. At least, that what many researchers, consultants and food companies — as well as the media — predicted among their top picks for 2019. Some of these groups include The Kroger Co., New Nutrition Business consultancy and writers at Forbes magazine. Researchers are now exploring the relationship between the brain and gut health.
Promoters of gut health recommend fermented foods, sprouted grains, vegetables, prebiotics and probiotics, but don’t forget good ol’ fiber. The U.S.D.A. Dietary Guidelines recommends 33 and 38 grams of fiber for women and men, respectively.
“Veggies are great but getting more than 30 grams of fiber will take more than broccoli,” noted Len Helflich, Baking & Snack contributing editor in his latest column. “We need baked goods in our diet.”
Baked foods, and specifically bread, 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,” Mr. Heflich observed. “Even ‘evil’ white bread contains 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, which is about the same as a serving broccoli, kales or asparagus. Whole wheat bread contains 6.5 grams per 100 grams, more than triple those vegetables.”
Bakers should keep that perspective in mind, especially when combatting the latest in fad diets.
“As an industry, let’s contribute a diet that provides the calories, nutrients, fiber and enjoyment needed for a healthy life,” Mr. Heflich urged. “Bakers can do this by highlighting the fiber content of their products and developing great-tasting products.”