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Some of us worship bread, some limit their intake and others avoid it altogether. But almost all of us love bread. Any bread is a rich source of carbohydrates yet whilst some are very healthy, others are nothing more than — well, sugar. Here’s all you need to know to have your bread and eat it!

Most bread starts with grains — traditionally wheat or rye — but what happens next is the deciding factor for how healthy or unhealthy the bread is going to be. If the grains are stripped of all outer layers and finely ground into white flour, the resulting product will be akin to baked sugar and not healthy by any standard. If the grains retain the natural outer layers and are ground into wholemeal flour, it’s off to a healthier start. However, there are many other ingredients, such as colouring, different fats, other flours, seeds, grains, salt and sugar. It’s the final mixture that determines how healthful the product is.


White flour is devoid of most nutrients and is made up almost entirely of starch that’s absorbed by your body very fast and gives you a reaction similar to a sugar rush. In the UK, white bread flour has to be fortified so it contains at least some added nutrients – a public health regulation. What you’ll see on the ingredients list usually looks like something like this: wheat flour (with added calcium, iron, niacin, thiamin). But don’t be fooled, fortification doesn’t make it a healthy product! It’s best to steer clear of white bread or have it occasionally, just like any other ‘junk food’.

Of course, it depends on what you eat with your white bread as healthier accompaniments can partially make up for its lack of nutrients but it shouldn’t be an everyday staple.

Some manufacturers add ingredients, such as wheat protein, fibre or wheatgerm to improve the nutritional value of white bread but it’s still better to choose wholemeal bread as it naturally contains all these and more.


Apart from carbohydrates, wholemeal flour contains many essential nutrients — protein, several B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, selenium and fibre. You not only get a good dose of these nutrients from wholemeal bread but you digest the carbohydrates in it slower, getting a steady supply of energy over several hours.

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About PlantBased

As we move onto Issue 2 of PlantBased, we have enjoyed receiving such amazing feedback from the first issue. The positivity surrounding the launch was infectious and we’ve particularly loved hearing from excited people who had never considered plant based eating before picking up the mag, but are now joining the food revolution as a result of reading it. November means winter is officially on its way. In the office at PBHQ that means our tea and coffee habit has been taken up a notch (though, if I’m honest, we’ve barely stopped all summer anyway) and it also means that I have now got an excuse to dig out my much-loved and rapidly growing collection of jumpers to keep me warm as the temperature drops. The chillier weather calls for warming and hearty meals and this issue shouldn’t disappoint. We have our Essential Guide to soul-satisfying soups [page 54] including the delicious and striking beetroot soup you will have noticed on the cover, plus we show that salad can be for winter too, with our Winter Salads recipe section [from page 30]. This month, we were also really thrilled to have Tammy Fry (of the Fry’s meat-free meat fame) in our PlantBased Kitchen cooking up a Thai Green treat. Travelling from Australia, Tammy only had time to stay for the morning, but I could have spoken to her for hours — the achievements she’s accomplished and the passion she shows for turning the whole world plant based really struck a chord and I spent the rest of the day feeling extremely inspired. Have a fantastic November and we will see you next month for a Christmas issue that you won’t want to miss out on.