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.