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Sometimes it is taken for granted that wholemeal bread and in general i whole foods are better than others for our health, without making the necessary assessments and also analyzing the context. To the answer wholemeal bread or white bread, the right answer would be “it depends” because these two foods have different characteristics and have different effects on our body. Better to deepen and free ourselves from the cliché of the integral that is good for you. This does not mean that we want to discredit the whole foods but simply better understand when they are really useful and why.
Wholemeal or white bread: how to choose
One of the reasons why you can opt for wholemeal bread and wholemeal foods in general lies in the frequent lack of protein that is reflected in our diets, if we live in industrialized countries. In recent decades the situation has worsened, we should ingest about every day 30 or 35 grams of fiber and we end up hiring only 20, in Italy. In the rest of the continent the situation is not better and in the United States, it's worse. There are areas of excellence, at a regional level, and also variations related to the seasons, but in fact we are far from ideal and what our body needs.
Each of us choosing food produced with wholemeal flours, may try to increase their fiber dose. Indeed, the use of increasingly refined flours is one of the causes of the increase in our lack of fiber.
When the refining process is carried out, a series of food transformations are carried out which are used to eliminate some substances or entire parts of food in order to obtain the maximum quantity of what we need. When refining the flour, for example, the germ and the external part of the grain are eliminated, unfortunately in this way some nutrients that are important for the body are also lost.
Therefore, based on our diet, and the amount of fiber we eat, we are able to understand if wholemeal bread is an essential step to stay healthy, or if we can choose freely because we already eat others. vegetables and foods that are rich in it.
Wholemeal or white bread: why choose
The main reason for choosing a whole grain bread and, more generally, a whole food is certainly the quantity of fiber, but there are other peculiarities related to these foods that can play a decisive role in our choice.
Integrals increase the sense of satiety and, at the same time, facilitate intestinal transit, so it is excellent for those suffering from constipation or bowel problems. Even those on a diet can appreciate whole foods because they reduce the absorption of fats and cholesterol, as well as carcinogens, thus also reducing the risk of developing some types of cancer
In addition to fiber, wholemeal bread also contains more. For example, many vitamins including E which in refined foods, including white bread, is often reduced even if it is very important for our health. Some B vitamins are also much more abundant in the whole grain bread. Both the glycemic index and the calories are much less, however, this should not authorize us to duplicate the amount of bread we eat during the day.
Given the advantages of whole foods, however, we must point out that overdoing the fiber is not good at all. There can be a very negative effect on phytates. More fiber means more phytates, in fact, and that's not good at all because these are substances that hinder the absorption of some minerals including calcium and zinc, which are very precious for our body.
Lastly, but not to be overlooked, it should be noted that when the external part of the grain is not eliminated, as it happens during refining, the chemical substances used in agriculture that often come into contact with it. Whole foods must therefore always be well controlled and, first of all, we must buy them in safe places.
Therefore, when choosing between wholemeal bread and white bread, it is important to evaluate all the aspects we have seen so far and opt for balance. All whole wheat not good but also all refined. In our diet there must be foods of plant origin, fruit and vegetables, so that there is already a good amount of fiber to then integrate with whole foods. But it is not only with them that we can cover our daily needs.
Eating only wholemeal foods and bread deprives us of others trace elements which are instead present in fruit and vegetables, irreplaceable presences.
You may also be interested in our new article on how to make bread at home.
Wholemeal bread: recipe
If whole foods must have a well-controlled origin, then let's try to prepare them at home. It doesn't take long to make wholemeal bread with your own hands and it will give you a lot of satisfaction.
To prepare a loaf you need 3-4 ounces of dough that we take out from the fridge to form a ball giving it time to rise 45 minutes. The oven should be used at 240 ° C with two cooking laps, for 30 minutes. It is a special method, said "No knead", that is, without dough, because they are based on developing the gluten cage by not manipulating and folding the dough while kneading and forming the bread, but by allowing time to pass.
By letting our bread rest in the fridge, the proteins in its flour are transformed into gluten and the pasta takes on an increasingly intense flavor.
Let's see how to make this magic happen. We dissolve the yeast in the water and add the flour and salt, mix for 30-40 seconds, until we have a raw dough which we can cover to let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature until it doubles in volume. At this point we can put the dough in the fridge until we decide to cook our loaf. When this happens, with floured hands we can take a 300-gram piece of dough, leaving the rest in the fridge, and wrap it on itself to form a ball that must rise again. The oven should be set at 50 degrees, then when it reaches them, the oven should be turned off to let the dough rise for almost an hour. The real cooking takes place at 250 ° C, before baking it, however, we make cuts on the loaf to allow it to expand.