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07/05/2013

The ten bread commandments

Bread has enjoyed pride of place in Mediterranean homes since time immemorial. However, for some years many diets prohibited it, based on the idea that bread makes you fat, and from that moment onward it was considered dispensable.

Now the trend has reversed. Although bread consumption per capita still falls short of World Health Organization recommendations, new sales points for bread have appeared, and bakeries sell much more than just baguettes. Bread "boutiques" and new French-style bakeries give it the importance it deserves in our diet. There are myriad reasons that support bread consumption, but the ten reasons, or "bread commandments", are as follows:

  1. Bread belongs to the grains group, which are the most nutritionally complete and economical food group, making up the base of the food pyramid.

    2. They provide our bodies with the energy they need, especially the brain and central nervous system.

    3. Including bread at every meal is a good way to meet the five or six daily servings of carbohydrates recommended by specialists.

    4. Bread is low in fat (1g for every 100g of bread), making it the ideal source of the carbohydrates that we need with minimal fat content.

    5. It has a satiating effect and the high fiber content (especially wheat bread) helps regulate intestinal functions.  

    6. Fiber consumption is directly proportional to a lower prevalence of illnesses, such as diabetes and high cholesterol.

    7. Specialists even recommend 100g of bread per day for people on weight-loss diets.

    8. Bread is also a source of B vitamins, which help us convert food into energy; maintain healthy hair, skin and nails; form red blood cells and antibodies; and ensure the proper functioning of the central nervous and circulatory systems.

    9. It provides our bodies with many essential minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.

    10. Bread consumption is ideal for children and young people, as they are especially active, and for the elderly, as it is easy to chew and digest.

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