Bread lovers, breathe a sigh of relief: a new, lower-carb option may take the fear and self-loathing out of bread consumption.
No longer shall you have to hide in the shadows, eating your tasty and filling bread in secret shame! And while many have decreed the humble slice of bread to be public enemy No.1, leading Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured) says this is simply not the case.
In short, healthy, active people need carbohydrates to fuel their body for life and exercise. What’s more, eradicating bread from your diet can be a needless form of dieting self-sabotage. Susie, who’s a Helga’s Lower Carb bread ambassador, is recommending we chow down on this new lower-wheat option, which contains nutritional seeds and 25 per cent less carbs than you would find in a standard mixed-grain loaf.
A loaf of this rich grain, lower-carb bread also contains 10g of protein, almost 5g of fibre and just 19-20g of total carbs per serve. “The nutritionals of this soft, tasty bread are very strong, one of the strongest profiles of all bread on the market and for this reason I was very happy to endorse this product,” Susie says.
“Bread has a lot of positive nutritional properties including being a good source of protein, fibre, and wholegrains and in the case of Helga’s, essential fats from all the seeds and grains.
“Turn your lunch-time salad into a nutritious and well-balanced meal by adding two slices of Helga’s Lower Carb and making it into a sandwich.”
Helga’s Lower Carb, $5.49 per 700g loaf, is available in three variants: Lower Carb 5 Seeds, Lower Carb Soy and Toasted Sesame and Lower Carb Sunflower and Golden Linseed.
So, why should we not fear this new lower-carb bread? And why do some health professionals want us to ban all forms of bread (pictured) from our diets? “There are those who think they are doing well by choosing wraps or Turkish bread, only to find out that some of these breads can contain three-to-four times the amount of carbohydrates as traditional sliced bread,” Susie says.
“As a dietitian, I don’t see bread as good or bad, rather when developing meal plans I consider how much carbohydrate per serve the bread offers. Good nutrition is not about isolating individual types of food, rather considering the overall nutrient balance of the diet and the eating patterns and habits that complement this.
“If your GP tells you to cut bread from your diet, that’s just plain bad and lazy nutritional advice.”
Susie, who’s no fan of the paleo diet as spruiked by celebrity TV chef Pete Evans – which bans milk products, along with all grains and pulses – says wholegrains actually have much to offer us. “A less frequently mentioned benefit of including bread in the diet is the satisfaction factor,” she says.
“Chronic dieters will often describe skipping the bread with their lunch-time salad to avoid the ‘carbs’ only to find their blood glucose levels low and cravings out of control an hour or two later.
“Trust me, binge-eating rice crackers, chocolate and other sweet foods throughout the afternoon does far more damage to a diet than a slice or two of bread will ever do. In this instance the fear of eating bread tends to be a self-generated issue rather than a nutrition one.”
A good rule of thumb is the more active we are, the more carbs we will need to fuel the muscle, Susie says. Good carbs include 1-2 slices of lower-carb bread; pasta; fruit; brown rice, quinoa or other carb-rich foods. So, is it time to revaluate your relationship with bread? This new, lower-carb bread may well be a bread-lover’s hot ticket to better health and happiness.
What do you think? Would you eat lower-carb bread? Does bread deserve its bad rep as a deadly sin?
Tips via Susie Burrell
Have you ever received dodgy nutrition advice from a non-nutritionist? Say, from a well-meaning personal trainer, who should instead perhaps just stick to the gym? There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to food intake for optimum weight loss. Here, acclaimed Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell dispels some of these popular food dieting myths, separating fact from fiction for SHESAID readers.
Myth Bust No.1: You must avoid certain high-in-sugar fruits, such as bananas, citrus fruits and stone fruits, when trying to lose weight.
“While fruit does contain some sugar, no food in isolation will cause weight gain,” Susie says. “And consequently, including one to two pieces of fibre-rich fruit in your diet each day is no issue if the goal is weight loss. Some fruits, such as grapes and bananas (pictured below) have slightly more sugar than an apple or mandarin, but it is splitting hairs over a few extra grams that are not going to add any significant effect on weight loss results.”
Myth Bust No.2: Juices are better for you than actual fruit, when trying to shift those pesky kilos.
“I would argue no, for fruit juice in particular is a concentrated source of sugar,” Susie says. “For example, it takes three to four pieces of fruit to get a small volume of juice. Veggie juices are slightly different as vegetables generally have less sugar than fruits and hence can be made into a low-calorie drink which offers plenty of nutrients.”
Myth Bust No.3: Oats are too high in carbohydrates for breakfast for dieters.
“No, this is not true at all, oats are a nutritious wholegrain packed full of soluble fibre,” Susie says. “I encourage my clients to add 1 cup milk or Greek yoghurt to 2 tbsp of oats for a nutritionally balanced, low GI breakfast option.”
Myth Bust No.4: You must not eat carbs after 3pm if you’re trying to lose weight.
“Everyone needs carbs: controlled portions that link to your energy output. When it comes to the “no carbs after 3pm” myth, again it is the total amount of carbs consumed throughout the day that really counts to your waistline, rather than a specific time of day at which you mustn’t eat them.
Myth Bust No.5: All fat is bad for us.
“We actually all need 40-60g of the right mix of fats,” Susie says. “What is most important is getting the balance of fat right in our bodies. Moderate amounts of saturated fat from meats, chicken skin, full-fat dairy products, butter and takeaway foods should be consumed along with three to four servings of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats each day.
“Monounsaturated fat is found in foods such as avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts and cooking oils made from plants or seeds such as sunflower, canola, soybean, olive, sesame and peanut oils. Meanwhile, polyunsaturated fat (omega-6) is found in foods such as fish, tahini (sesame seed spread), margarine, linseed (flaxseed), sunflower and safflower oil, pine nuts and brazil nuts.”
Both images via www.pixabay.com.