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On a Diet? Try These Types of Bread

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Jul 25, 2022

On a Diet? Try These Types of Bread

Bread has had its reputation tarnished in recent years. It has been blamed for being the reason behind people gaining weight and having a difficult time getting rid of that same weight. With its carbohydrate content, white bread in particular has come under fire. Still, types of bread for diet-conscious people are also being made. Finding and naming these healthy kinds of bread is out there for those who look hard enough.

A bad reputation for white bread

For all the flak that bread has gotten, there are studies that downplay its contributions to obesity. One points out that, “The feeling of fullness created by eating bread and intensified with bread containing cellulose helps a dieter control food intake. At the same time, only by restricting high calorie food intake can there be any substantial weight loss.”

This same study bared results where overweight college-age men who followed this program lost an average of 8.77 kg in eight weeks while eating reduced calorie high fiber bread. Meanwhile, those consuming ordinary enriched white bread lost 6.26 kg in the same period.

A 2008 study pointed out that bread consumption among adults in 2000–2001 was dominated by white bread. Men consumed more bread than women, and more white bread than other varieties. This consequently made a greater contribution to energy, fiber, and nutrient intakes than other types of bread. Replacing white bread with wholemeal bread would increase the nutrient density of the diet.

White bread is the largest contributor to salt intakes in the UK. Though average salt content has been declining, largely due to salt reduction targets set by government reformulation programs.

Sourdough bread as an option

A type of bread that has emerged as a healthier option is sourdough bread. Sourdough bread refers to bread leavened using a sourdough starter. This is a mixture of flour and water inhabited by so-called wild yeasts and bacteria. These cause the dough to rise and give it its distinguishing flavor.

The wheat used is ground in stone and not in roller mills that destroy some of the nutrients in wheat germ. It is made using a sourdough starter composed of natural yeast and lactobacilli or beneficial bacteria. Left to rise for 7–8 hours and then baked, sourdough bread contains all the nutrients present in whole grains and those in wheat germ.

In a 2019 study, sensory analysis showed that wheat sourdough bread enriched with oat and rye fibers (WSBDF) and wheat sourdough bread (WSB) were preferred over wheat yeasted bread (WYB). This is due to its acidulous smell, taste, and aroma.

Habitual consumption of wholemeal sourdough bread has contributed to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes, and cancer in southern Mediterranean populations.

In addition to high-quality proteins and essential fatty acids, it contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Sourdough bread, in fact, provides the following:

  • vitamin-E
  • vitamin-B1, B6, and B12
  • thiamin
  • niacin
  • folate
  • riboflavin
  • potassium
  • zinc
  • iron
  • magnesium
  • selenium
  • calcium
  • phosphorus
  • manganese

Thus, if you’re looking for bread for diet purposes, consider following the Mediterranean way. Choose sourdough bread over white bread.

Key takeaways

Bread has been flagged for its high carbohydrate content and connections to obesity in recent years. White bread, in particular, has been blamed for some people’s difficulty when attempting to lose weight since it is so readily available. Thus, when thinking about bread for diet, it is difficult to have bread as part of the equation.

Since ancient times, particularly in Greece and the Mediterranean, sourdough bread has proven to be a healthier option compared to white bread and its ilk. The way sourdough is prepared and its own ingredients such as sourdough starter and wheat germ are credited for its numerous beneficial effects.

While sourdough may be a healthier alternative to typical sliced white bread, it still rich in carbohydrates so it may not be the most effective food choice for those looking to lose weight fast.

Learn more about healthy eating, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Martha Juco, MD


Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Jul 25, 2022

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