Contrary to popular belief, this staple food, which has been a part of the human diet for centuries is not ‘fattening’. Eating bread as part of a calorie-controlled, balanced diet can actually help us to lose weight without feeling hungry.
Whether it is ciabatta from Italy, pita from Greece and the middle east, chapatti from India or tortillas from Mexico, a variety of different kinds of bread and flat breads have been a part of many cultures and great cuisines throughout the world for thousands of years.
A medium slice of wholegrain* bread is only about 70–75 calories (294–315 kilojoules) and contains many valuable nutrients such as the B-group vitamins including folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, iodine, vitamin E, phytochemicals and fibre.
From a carbohydrate point of view, a slice of bread is one serve (one portion/exchange) and equivalent to a medium piece of fruit (apple or orange), 1/3 cup of cooked rice or small-medium potato. Which of these do you think will fill you up more?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that you can or should eat 4 or 5 slices of bread in one go – but there is absolutely no need to cut it out either – and a happy mean that is ideal is two slices of bread. In fact, a sandwich – 2 slices of bread with a protein filling, a small amount of good fat, lots of ‘free’ veggies and low-fat flavourings – is the ideal lunch.
Many people who think they are being healthy or virtuous, may eat only a salad without sufficient carbs at lunch and end up so tired and hungry at afternoon tea time that they end up giving in to chocolate bars or chips from the vending machine!
There are so many kinds of bread to choose from – soy and linseed, multigrain, wholemeal, sourdough, rye and raisin toast – and it never needs to be boring as you can eat bread in the form of fresh crusty bread, toast, jaffles, toasted sandwiches or wraps – and whether it’s sliced bread, bread rolls, English muffins, pita bread, Turkish bread, tortillas, chapattis, lavash bread or mountain bread – they are all different forms of bread to be enjoyed.
Even white bread is fine. It may contain less fibre and nutrients than other varieties of bread, but it is still a nutritious food – and far better than eating pastries or fried rice! You can now also find low-GI white bread and white bread containing resistant starch or added omega-3. And if you have Coeliac disease, you can substitute gluten-free bread.
So, don’t be scared of bread. It will not promote weight gain and will actually help with weight loss and blood glucose control, and even reduce your risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
Here’s an example of a meal plan including bread from The Omega Rapid Weight Loss Phase of The Omega-3 Diet Revolution. With only 1291 calories (5404 kilojoules), it will give you fast and healthy weight loss:
Meal Plan — Omega Rapid Weight Loss Diet
1 cup of tea or coffee
1 multigrain English muffin, toasted
1 omega-3 egg scrambled with chives using canola spray
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small orange
1 Salmon and Salad Roll: 1 multigrain bread roll; 80 g (3 oz) canned salmon;
2 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise or other flavouring of choice (e.g. balsamic vinegar)
Salad: shredded lettuce, grated carrot, sliced tomato
1 Strawberry Smoothie: 1 cup strawberries; ½ cup skim/low-fat milk, ½ cup low-fat strawberry
or flavoured yoghurt; ½ tablespoon wheat germ and 1 teaspoon of flaxseed (linseed) oil blended in;
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) (if further sweetness is required, use a sugar substitute, e.g. Splenda®)
1 serve Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry#
1 small tub (150g or 5 oz) low-fat flavoured/ fruit yoghurt
#If you don’t eat beef, you can substitute prawns, chicken or pork for the beef in this recipe
This menu provides:
Energy: 1291 calories (5404 kilojoules)
Percentage of total energy: Protein: 32%; Fat: 26%; Carbohydrate: 40%
*A ‘wholegrain’ food is any food containing the three main components or layers found in grains – the outer bran layer, the middle endosperm and the inner germ. Even if a grain is milled or processed, if it is put back together – with all the original components in the same proportions – it can be called ‘wholegrain’.
For more detailed information about whole grains, fibre, resistant starch and glycemic index (GI) see The Total Life Diet book.
You will also find many more meal plans for rapid weight loss, gradual weight loss and weight maintenance in
The Omega-3 Diet Revolution and The Total Life Diet books.