Healthier White Bread Is Possible

We aim to eat a healthy diet. Diet is so crucial for all aspects of our health, including the heart. And while it might be easy to enjoy healthy foods and treat some foods as treats rather than staples, one thing we have a hard time resisting is bread. Whole grains are good for the heart and should be a part of a healthy diet. However, not all breads are created equal. And while whole grain bread can be a great source of complex, heart-healthy carbs, white bread isn’t beneficial for you. Now, scientists have found a way to double its fiber content!
 
White bread is fluffier, cheaper and lasts longer than most wholemeal varieties, which makes it very attractive. Picky eaters tend to like its soft texture more than breads made from whole grains. But, there are drawbacks to being lighter: it’s also lighter on nutrition and heart-healthy fiber. While whole wheat bread has three grams of fiber per slice, white bread has one and the new bread has two, splitting the difference. While that might not make white bread a go-to choice, it does make it more easily incorporated into a meal if we want.
 
In new research, scientists looked at more than 150 wheat varieties. By comparing them, they found the gene for being high in fiber. While humans have around 25,000 genes, wheat has about 150,000. With that in mind, it wasn’t an easy undertaking. By comparing the high-fiber varieties, they were able to narrow down their search, seeing areas where they were similar. They can then use cross-breeding to make the wheat far higher in fiber before it is processed. The flour they produced tastes like standard white flour.
 
And the researchers aren’t done yet. “We hope to go on and identify further genes that increase fiber content,” said Dr. Alison Lovegrove, the lead author, “thereby providing plant breeders, millers and food producers with even more options.”
 
The team of researchers says it might be five years before the wheat and bread made from it are commercially available, but we are excited. According to people who have tried it, the bread tastes just like white bread. Fiber not only helps the heart: it can also aid insulin sensitivity and lower the risk of obesity.
 
We like to eat a variety of foods. It’s not that we don’t like the breads made of complex carbs that are on the market. But, it would be nice to put it back on our menu as well as the heart-healthy breads we already enjoy.
February 07, 2020
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