Bread: so delicious, so convenient and so versatile – it’s no wonder bread falls within the top three staple foodstuffs in South Africa. But our loaf affair with bread is growing as the taste, texture and healthfulness of the available options, improves. With the rise in bread varieties on super market shelves, it is important to fully understand the health benefits of the different breads.
Low GI is one of the nutrition related bread claims that springs to mind. What gives low GI bread the edge ahead? Low glycaemic index (GI) breads have the advantage in that when eaten, they help to prevent your blood sugar levels from shooting suddenly from low, to high. Breads with a low GI value (55 or less) are digested and absorbed by the body more slowly and this helps to keep you feeling more energized, more full and more satisfied throughout the day.
Here are five simple benefits of switching your bread choice to a low GI, high fibre option:
1. You’ll lower your risk of chronic disease
It’s no secret – the science shows that low GI, high fibre foods keep blood sugar levels more stable than high GI foods with low fibre content. The benefit of this, is that when low GI foods are eaten more regularly, they reduce steep sugar spikes in the blood and this helps to manage the risk of the chronic diseases (particularly diabetes and heart disease).5
2. You’ll have longer lasting energy to power your day
Sustained energy throughout the day is one of the most important characteristics of low GI bread. Low GI bread releases energy in the body in a slow and steady way and this helps to keep blood sugar levels more stable, for longer periods throughout the day. Better energy means better performance during activity and exercise during your busy day. 6,7
3. Your waistline may loosen
Weight loss is a complex process with many different factors playing a role in long term success. That being said, studies do show that eating a balanced diet where the chosen carbohydrates are low GI, can lead to weight loss. But remember, there is no magic bullet for weight loss – reducing portion sizes, being more active and consuming a healthy diet are the pillars for long term weight management.10
4. You’ll feel more full
Because we know that low GI foods release sugars into the body’s bloodstream more slowly, they can help to keep you feeling fuller, for longer. The benefit of this is that incorporating more low GI foods in the diet will help to counteract cravings and stave off hunger pangs.8
5. Your gut will thank you
Low-GI, high fibre Albany breads have a high dietary fibre content varying between 7.2 g to 8.1 g per 100g. That means that a two-slice serving (80g) of any Albany low GI bread will give you almost a quarter (23-26%) of your daily suggested fibre intakes. Including low GI, high fibre foods will help you to reach your daily fibre targets and this will optimise your gut health.9
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