Australian women continue to have a love/hate relationship with bread. According to a recent survey done by Bakers Delight, almost half of Aussie women (43%) avoid bread when they’re trying to lose weight, yet 83% consume bread five times a week because they love the taste.
Why has bread become the first food to leave a dieting woman’s pantry? “Bread is an ‘icon food’ for carbohydrates, and there is a strong idea thatwhen carbs are cut from your diet you will lose more weight which has been perpetuated by many popular diets over the last two decades,” says accredited practising dietitian, Sharon Natoli, who worked on the survey.
So, does bread actually make you put on weight? If we’re talking more than a couple of slices of white bread a day, then the answer is yes, according to Spanish researchers who tracked the weight of almost 10,000 people over 5 years. Their findings, reported earlier this year, found that people who ate three or more slices of white bread a day were 40 per cent more likely to become overweight or obese. Interestingly, eating wholegrain bread didn’t lead to weight gain.
“Bread made with wholemeal flour or containing visible grains is always better for you – the more good bits you can see, the higher the nutritional value,” says Natoli. “Whole grains are low GI which helps you stay full and focused for longer.”