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The bread we eat

Gluten is a topic that still is of big interest to many people, to MANY athletes. Is it good? Is it bad? But what about bread in general? Do we know what bread we’re eating every day? The ingredients in our bread are making it a food rich in nutrients such as minerals, protein, fibre or a food with little to no value (low nutrient density).

Make sure you get the right one – whole grain bread inside and outside. Often the crust makes us think it’s a nutritious bread but when we slice it, it’s pretty poor inside. Bagels with a few pumpkin seeds on top but fluffy white flour inside are not considered a nutritious whole grain bread. Nutritious breads are heavy, cheap breads with little nutrient density are fluffy, light. A lot of air but nothing else…

Bread isn’t bad for you, the problem we face today is that we often choose the cheapest bread (or get served only the cheapest, simplest bread). Bread mixes or ready-to-bake breads are hardly ever healthy, nutritious whole grain breads. Bake me for 45 minutes and I’m done. Well, real, traditional, high quality bread takes time. A lot of time! Why do you think so many people have problems to digest freshly baked bread? It’s not because of THE enemy gluten, it’s also because we don’t give bread (yeast) the time to get ready. When the dough is only half ready when you put it into the oven, no wonder your gastrointestinal tract will suffer to digest it.

Many will say it’s nice to have a slice of toast bread or baguette. Unfortunately it’s the one with the poorest nutrient density. So to increase the quality of your diet, it should not become your main bread of choice. If you aim at boosting your nutrient content of your diet, go for the whole grain bread. Rye, spelt, pumpernickel, graham bread! And of course, like with many other foods nowadays – if you don’t bake your own bread but get it in the supermarket, check the label and read the ingredients. The longer the ingredients list (unless it’s different seeds), the poorer the quality. Bread labelled as rye bread shouldn’t just have 10 % rye flour and 90% wheat flour, rye bread should be made of rye flour. 😉


Especially for athletes nutrient density is important – make sure you increase it by choosing the bread with a high content of micronutrients and other substances.