Don’t go crazy, dear reader. no one wants to take us away Our daily bread. Nor are we trying to deprive the Spaniards of the most epic mealy dough in history. Because yes, we Spaniards love bread. The annual report on food consumption in Spain leaves no doubt: each citizen put 32.78 kilos of bread in their body in 2020 on average. A fairly high amount that denotes the overwhelming presence of this food in our daily diet.
The intention of the Spanish government is to regulate by law the amount of salt added to bread. In fact, this regulation has already happened: last Friday, April 1, the legal deadline for manufacturers to reduce the salt used in their bakery recipes expired. From now on, the maximum salt content allowed will be 1.31 grams per 100 grams of bread if analyzed by chloride assay, or 1.66 grams of salt per 100 grams of bread if analyzed by total sodium assay. These requirements come as no surprise to the baking industry, as they were announced in 2019 alongside the latest bread quality standard.
The measure aims to improve the nutritional profile of everyday foods in order to prevent certain metabolic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases. In this sense, we know that an excess of salt in the diet increases the occurrence of hypertension or high blood pressure in the body, a risk factor for the aforementioned cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction.
Does this measure make sense?
Yes, you have. It may seem that reducing the amount of salt in bread by a few milligrams will have little impact on our health. But the truth is that it is. Health strategies that employ the gradual reduction of certain ingredients generally have a positive effect on the health of the population, since they do it without you noticing of its decline.
It’s not that it’s a malicious scheme, on the contrary. This is done little by little so that our palate is not insulted before a drastic reduction in ingredients such as salt, whose power and flavor are more than remarkable. Thus, by reducing a few milligrams over a long period, manufacturers have full latitude to adapt their recipes to the new legislation for the benefit of the health of the population.
It is true that lowering the amount of salt in bread is an interesting point, but neither proves to be a panacea. In other words, bread is bread, with all the good and bad that that means. And what are these weaknesses? Is bread a healthy food or is it a supermarket demon?
The reality behind eating bread
Nutritionally, bread is a food rich in complex carbohydrates. This makes it an important source of energy for the body, like other foods like potatoes or rice. It’s not bad in itself, the problem is that bread has a brutal presence in our daily lives: we have two toasts with tomato and oil for breakfast, a chorizo sandwich for the lunch, lentils with bread and a tuna and cheese sandwich for dinner. the bread is ours crushAnd it’s time to admit it.
Eating so much bread implies a replacement of other healthy foods such as legumes or nuts. In addition, there are other more interesting sources of carbohydrates: for example, fruits and vegetables, which provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals that are not always found in bread. Similarly, vitamin C is one of the micronutrients that bread does not contain but is usually found in healthy vegetables like bell peppers or oranges.
The magic of wholemeal bread
Most of the bread we eat in Spain is made with refined flour, and that’s a fact. Of the 32.78 kilos of bread a year that we Spaniards put between our chests and our backs, we mentioned at the beginning of the article, so only 2.18 kilograms belong to the category of wholemeal bread: real edible nonsense.
And what is whole wheat bread, you ask? This means that wheat flour, the most widely used cereal, undergoes a process that removes the most interesting layers of the cereal in healthy terms: the germ and the bran. This last layer, whose name seems to pay homage to the mythical program of Jordi Évole, is packed with dietary fiber: a healthy ingredient that is lost during refining.
In this way, the breads that we normally consume in our daily routine are a “beta version” of the real bread that we should include in our diet: wholemeal bread. This variety is composed in particular all parts of the cereal grain: germ, bran and endosperm. By containing the whole grain, we get a higher supply of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Specifically, dietary fiber is characterized by many health benefits related to the prevention of metabolic diseases and better digestion. It also helps us feel full sooner, so we’ll eat less food. So, now you know: put a good chusco of wholemeal bread in your mouth and run away from the refined ones.
I am Bhumi Shah, a highly skilled digital marketer with over 11 years of experience in digital marketing and content writing in the tech industry.