Only whole-grain bread is rich in dietary fiber. A regular slice contains up to 2.1 g of fiber, or 7% DV. In contrast, white bread is poor in fiber.
Why is fiber essential for health?
High fiber intake has been linked to significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Also, high fiber intake may lower elevated blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity and enhance immune function!
Moreover, fiber contributes to healthy gut microbiota, which is crucial for good health. Gut microbiota protects the body from chronic inflammations, improves metabolic processes, and promotes weight loss, due to regulation of appetite!
How much dietary fiber do we need a day?
The daily recommended intake of fiber is 14 g per 1,000 calories. Therefore, we should consume at least 28 g of fiber per a typical 2,000 calorie diet. More is better. There isn’t an upper safe dose of fiber. If you consume more calories, you should get more fiber as well.
However, most people fail to consume adequate amounts of fiber. Average fiber intake for people who follow the standard Western diet is less than half of the recommended dose! That’s because we consume too many animal products and highly processed foods, which contain no fiber. Actually, only plants contain fiber.
White bread is poor in dietary fiber
As a rule of thumb, bread is a good source of fiber. But, different types of bread have a different fiber content.
White bread has the lowest amount of fiber. It contains 2.3 g of fiber per 100 g. A medium slice (27 g) of white bread contains only 0.6 g of fiber. This dose is about 2% of the daily recommended intake.
Certainly, you should avoid eating white bread. It has a poor nutritional value, as compared to whole-grain bread.
Most noteworthy, as white bread lacks of fiber, and it’s mainly starch and sugars, it spikes blood sugar. It has a pretty high Glycemic Index of 88! It affects blood sugar as much as refined sugar!
Moreover, a slice of white bread has about 75 calories. Hence, too much white bread could make you gain weight.
Thus, people with diabetes and people who want to lose weight should avoid white bread. Better consume whole-grain bread, which is high in fiber. Fiber could help lose weight and, above all, maintain a healthy body weight. It slows digestion and expands in the stomach, sending satiating signals to the brain.
Whole-grain bread is rich in fiber
On the other hand, whole-grain bread is an excellent dietary source of fiber. It’s pretty richer in minerals as well.
For instance, just a slice of whole-wheat contains approximately 1.9 g of fiber, or about 7% of the daily required dose!
In other words, a slice of whole-wheat bread contains 220% more fiber than a slice of white bread!
Rye bread is also high in fiber. A regular slice contains about 1.86 g of fiber.
Actually, all types of whole-grain bread are excellent dietary sources of fiber. For instance, a regular slice of rice bread contains 1.4 g of fiber, while a slice of multi-grain bread contains up to 2.1 g of fiber.
Other common foods rich in fiber
Certainly, whole-grain bread is pretty high in fiber. But, we can’t depend on it to meet our daily needs. It’s high in calories as well. Just a regular slice of whole-grain bread has about 85 calories. Hence, we have to consume a wide variety of foods high in fiber.
As plants are the only foods containing fiber, following a well-balanced, whole-food, plant-based diet is the easiest way to boost the daily intake of fiber. Thus, consuming a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, seeds, and nuts could help us consume adequate amounts of fiber.
Above all, the best dietary source of fiber are beans and legumes. For instance, a serving of lentils provides more than 50% of the daily required dose of fiber!
Additionally, a bid salad every day could significantly increase your fiber intake. Add any vegetable you like. For instance, spinach, kale, arugula, celery, dandelion greens, and lettuce are good sources of fiber.
Last, but not least, you better avoid fruit juices and highly processed products, such as vegetable oils. They’re high in calories, but contain no fiber.