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Is bread allowed when losing weight?



Although Germans love their bread, it is often the first thing they eliminate from their diet when trying to lose weight. The reason: Bread contains too many calories and carbohydrates. However, that’s not entirely true, because you can’t put all types of bread in one drawer and demonize them as fattening foods. There are even some varieties that can effectively help you lose weight due to their ingredients.

You can read here which bread is allowed when losing weight, what role your blood sugar level plays and which topping optimally complements your slimming sandwich.

Does bread make you fat?

No! Neither bread nor the carbohydrates it contains make you fat per se. You can’t blame any single food or nutrient for your extra pounds. Many factors play a role, especially your daily calorie balance. If you eat more than your “target” (daily requirement) every day, you will inevitably gain weight.

According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), grain products such as bread are actually quite healthy foods and not fattening foods. Therefore, according to the DGE recommendations, adults are allowed to eat between three and six slices of bread (200 to 300 grams) every day.

The carbohydrates in bread serve as a source of energy for your body and the fiber it contains regulates your digestion, among other things. Bread also contains many other micronutrients, such as B vitamins, vegetable iron and protein. These ingredients are mainly found in the outer layers of the grains, which is why whole grain bread is particularly rich in nutrients because, compared to light flour, the whole grain has been processed. To produce light, so-called extract flour, the grains are peeled, the shell removed and only the starch-rich endosperm is used.

The health benefits of whole grain products such as whole grain bread (but also brown rice and grains such as oats or rye) have also been scientifically proven. According to this large review of studies, regular consumption of whole grain products can be beneficial, for example, in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colon, pancreatic and stomach cancer.

Which bread is good if you want to lose weight?

Many people avoid bread when trying to lose weight because it is very high in carbohydrates. A low-carb diet, i.e. a diet in which you only consume very few carbohydrates, is no guarantee that you will actually lose weight. A large review on the topic showed: With low carb you don’t lose more weight or lose weight faster than if you just eat low calories AND at the same time consume a balanced proportion of carbohydrates.

So it’s not the amount of carbohydrates that matters, but rather the quality of the carbs and your daily calorie needs. According to studies, whole grain products help you lose weight and even reduce inflammatory processes in the body.

You can also use your beloved sandwich if you want to lose weight. The composition of the bread plays an important role: whole grain bread is definitely the best type of bread for losing weight.

Treat yourself – whole grain bread will help you lose weight

Why? Not only does it contain more healthy micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, but also more fiber than bread made from light flour. The more fiber a bread contains, the fuller you will be afterwards, because the indigestible food components swell in the intestines and ensure pleasant satiety. A Japanese study also showed that eating whole wheat bread can reduce the amount of visceral fat compared to light wheat bread. You can read here what makes so-called lower abdominal fat so dangerous.

In addition, the carbohydrates contained in whole grain bread are complex carbs, which means that your blood sugar and insulin levels only rise slowly and steadily.

This is how you can recognize real whole grain bread when buying it

“When buying whole grain bread, don’t be fooled by the color: not every dark, black or grain-containing bread is real whole grain bread,” says a statement from the German Nutrition Society. What is particularly confusing are the healthy-sounding fantasy names of the manufacturers, such as “Vital+Fit”.

“Only where it says whole grain does it contain whole grain, because the term is protected by law: whole grain bread or whole grain rolls must contain at least 90 percent whole grain flour or meal. However, the whole grains do not have to be completely preserved, but can be finely ground.”

Which types of bread should I avoid when losing weight?

Even though whole grain bread does not contain fewer carbs than other types of bread, it is not only healthy but also ideal for losing weight. As mentioned before: the quality of the carbohydrates is important, not necessarily the quantity.

Quality instead of quantity pays off when buying bread

There are therefore a few types of bread that you should only eat in moderation. After eating bread or pastries made from light flour (including lye pastries), your blood sugar goes on a wild rollercoaster ride and your insulin release goes over the top. The reason: the simple carbohydrates. The result: cravings.

But it’s not just white and wholemeal bread that differ in terms of nutritional values, there are also differences between the individual types of bread.

Ingredients per 100 grams of different breads in comparison:

Protein bread and flour-free seed bread, for example, contain only a few carbohydrates, but more protein and, above all, a lot of fat, which means that it is no lower in calories than other bread. You have to keep this fact in mind, especially when it comes to the surface, see next point. However, a study suggests that such “lower-carb breads” are well suited to losing weight due to the low insulin secretion after consumption.

Which covering is suitable for losing weight?

In addition to the type of bread, the right topping is also crucial for your success. Because if you end up just spreading a thick layer of jam on your healthy wholemeal bread, it won’t have any positive effects on your weight.

Varied, tasty and light: the perfect topping for losing weight

However, you generally don’t have to forbid yourself sweet spreads when trying to lose weight, because as is so often the case, the rule applies: everything is allowed in moderation, and at the end of the day what counts is your total calorie balance. This determines whether you lose or gain weight. You can also enjoy Nutella, honey or jam if you want to lose weight, but consciously and in small quantities.

Ideas for healthy bread toppings:

  • Thin layer of butter or margarine
  • Low-fat sausage, such as cooked ham, salmon ham, turkey or chicken breast cold cuts
  • Cheese of your choice, such as Gouda, Emmental, mozzarella
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Tuna (in its own juice)
  • Boiled egg
  • Avocado (or this protein guacamole)
  • Cream cheese (pure or different types)
  • Vegetarian and vegan spreads (available in numerous varieties)
  • Hummus
  • Vegetable topping (cucumber, tomato, radish)

Important: If you prefer protein bread or seed bread, keep in mind that the bread itself is already very high in fat. In other words: choose a topping that is as low in fat as possible so that you don’t consume too much fat during a meal. If you top a slice of protein bread (45 g) with 50 g of avocado and an egg, for example, you quickly end up with 300 calories and over 20 grams of fat. The recommended daily requirement for fat when losing weight is 0.5 – 1 gram per kilogram of body weight.

If you want to lose weight, you don’t have to give up bread. Whole grain bread is always a good choice, no matter what your goal is. Flourless seed breads and protein breads are also permitted, pOnly eat a little of the topping so as not to put too much strain on your calorie count.


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