1- Do I have to refrain from eating bread if I wish to lose weight?
Bread belongs to the group of carbohydrates which are a major source of energy. Moreover, the portions of carbohydrates to be consumed differ between one person and another as this depends on the age, on particular needs from all food groups, on the health status, on the degree of physical activity and on other factors as well. As such, bread by itself and in all its forms does not lead to weight gain if we eat the appropriate quantities and while abiding by the portions set for us by the doctor or health specialist.
2- Could we say that brown bread contains much fewer calories than white bread?
Not really. Brown bread contains almost the same proportion of calories found in white bread.
3- What is the difference then between white bread and brown bread? Also, why is it that brown bread is preferable as they say?
White bread is usually made of refined white flour to which are added doses of sugar or milk, for example; it is also completely free of wheat bran. As for brown bread, it is usually made of whole wheat grains and of wheat bran, making it richer than white bread in terms of vitamins, especially B group vitamins and vitamin E. It is also richer in minerals, especially phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and iron. And what specifically puts brown bread aside from white bread is its richness in fibres which are of great help in the digestion process and in facilitating bowel movement. Fibres are useful in some cases of occasional constipation, they reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood and they help avoid rapid glucose rates increase in the blood, and all this leads to a sense of satiety which we would feel for a longer period of time.
Moreover, and in spite of all the nutritional benefits of brown bread, some people may be unable to consume it for some health reason or due to a certain disease. Such people should check with their doctor who is the only one authorized to decide on the quantity to consume from such bread. Additionally, it is not advisable that people, who usually eat white bread only, shift all of a sudden to brown bread and consume it in large amounts since this may lead to bodily problems such as bloating, abdominal pain or some forms of diarrhoea.
Important note: What is said to be “brown bread” may well have a brown colour, or darker, which would give the impression of being healthy. But, unfortunately, the brown colour of bread does not always mean it is made of whole wheat or that it’s quite rich in fibres, as this colour may just be a simple caramel coloration added to the usual white bread. Hence, it is essential to read the ingredients label on the bag or package as this is the only way to ensure it contains the correct ingredients for the product we think is “brown bread”.