Breaking the bread myth
It used to be there was white bread and brown bread. Now there’s high-fibre white bread, bread with low GI, bread with soy and linseed, bread with extra calcium, bread with omega-3s to name a few. They make some big health claims and come with a price tag to match.
But are these superbreads really worth paying extra for? Are they as good for you as the labels and ads claim?
What we tested
We took a close look at their ingredients and the science (if any) behind the claims for:
low glycaemic index
soy, linseed and phytoestrogens
What we found
The healthiest breads are still those made from whole grains, such as wholemeal and multigrain.
However, some of the ‘wholemeal’ breads we found in the supermarkets were in fact made from a mixture of wholemeal and refined white flour, and the manufacturers don’t tell you how much wholemeal flour you’re getting.
For most foods, manufacturers are now required under the Food Standards Code to state the percentage of any ingredient that’s mentioned in the name. We’re taking it up with the state and territory health and food agencies responsible for enforcing the code. Bread is a staple food and consumers are entitled to know what’s in it.
While the health claims of some of the other ingredients, such as omega-3, are backed up by science, you may have to eat a lot more than a few slices a day to get the claimed benefits.