Bread Can Be More Nutritious Than You Might Think

Bread has had a hard time keeping its seat at the table of healthy foods lately. It seems like every week there is a new diet touting the evils of carbohydrates, and pointing to bread as a troubling example. There is far more to bread than just carbohydrates though, and they are not all created equal. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, carbohydrates are an important part of any healthy diet, and the most important thing is the quality.

Food Network notes that ditching bread also means ditching a great source of fiber and B vitamins. Carbohydrates — the nutrient in breads and other items that often get demonized — aren't as inherently unhealthy as they are often treated. It comes down more to the type of carbohydrate being consumed. There are simple and complex carbohydrates, and it's the first that often leads to weight gain and other health problems such as heart disease and high cholesterol (via Cleveland Clinic).

Finding healthy carbohydrates

Carbohydrates often come in the form of sugars, fibers, and starches that are turned into glucose, which is used as a vital energy source for the body (via Harvard School of Public Health). Simple carbohydrates are most often found in highly processed foods like white bread, pastries, or sodas. These simple carbohydrates are easily digested by the body, can cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, and should be avoided when possible if on a diet (via Cleveland Clinic).

Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are digested more slowly, and provide sustained energy throughout the day. They are most often found in items containing whole grains like oatmeal and whole grain breads. Eat This, Not That recommends looking for breads that contain "whole grain" in the first ingredients on the list, are high in fiber, and low in fat. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy options out there for breads in the aisles of most grocery stores. Learning to bake bread at home is another great way to enjoy bread while getting more nutrition.