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sliced gluten-free bread with nuts and seeds

Gluten-free bread - healthy or trendy?

A rather curious situation has developed around "gluten-free" label. On the one hand, it is known that those suffering from wheat protein intolerance (celiac disease) – are no more than 1% of the entire planet. On the other hand, over the past year, interest in "gluten-free", increased through the number of requests in search engines, which has multiplied. After all, gluten  is one of the types of complex vegetable protein of cereals, that is, wheat, rye, barley. Why is gluten suddenly considered dangerous?

Those people who are diagnosed with gluten intolerance are strictly prohibited from ordinary baked goods. But, those people who refuse traditional products just as a tribute to trend, may also lose a lot and are recommended to watch the composition of gluten-free breads available. 

Today the alternative gluten-free bread recipes contain seeds, nuts, dried fruit, bran and are made from non-traditional types of flour (rice flour, corn flour or almond flour). These ingredients  increase not only the calorie content of the product, but also its nutritional value. They provide the body with healthy fats, vegetable proteins and a number of vitamins: A, group B, C, E, K, PP.

At the same time many gluten-free baked goods often have an unbalanced composition: high in carbohydrates, low in protein, dietary fibre and vitamins.

Gluten-free bread is also not equally dietary and may contain even more calories than wheat bread.  Gluten-free bread contains significantly less useful fibre, and for stickiness of the dough, an additional starches, fats and sugars are usually added. Many of those are considered low-value food ingredients and are inferior in chemical composition to traditional high quality flour.

Quality breads like rye or wholemeal  are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre. Although rye bread cannot be called low-calorie (180-250 calories / 100g), its glycemic index is significantly lower than that of wheat. This means that after consuming rye, your blood sugar will not rise too high - and your body will need less insulin to lower it. Another benefit of rye bread is that it contains more dietary fibre which is important for normal digestion and gives you a prolonged feeling of being full. It also contains vitamins A, E, group B and minerals. For example, three slices of rye bread contain almost 1.5 times more iron than a whole apple, and 3.5 times more vitamin E and dietary fibre than one carrot, and about the same amount of phosphorus as three potatoes. 

How to choose bread in store

wholemeal breads from independent baker 

Experts advise to always read the label or speak to the baker and make a choice in favour of bread, which contains rye flour. Alternatively bread made from wholemeal wheat flour is healthy.  Sourdough should replace yeast or at least minimises its content. 

When opting for gluten-free options it is good if bran, cereals, seeds, nuts, dried fruits are added to the product. But the presence of sugar, yeast, margarine, starch in bread is undesirable.

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