We are always told how important it is to have a healthy and balanced diet, but what exactly does that mean? Different foods offer us various nutrients and other important ingredients. Discover where bread fits into your diet and let us separate fact from fiction.

No single food can provide you with all the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to function. The phrase ‘a balanced diet’ describes the process of selecting a healthy and varied range of foods that should be included in your daily intake.

Bread makes up an important source of carbohydrates in our diets and provides us with valuable protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc and iron. Nutritional experts strongly recommend including so-called ‘good carbs’ in our everyday meals as they provide the foundations for a balanced diet. These can be found in whole grains, fruit, vegetables and berries.

Whole grain

When bread is described as ‘whole grain’ it simply means that the whole grain that forms the nutritious kernel is still there and the bran and germ that make up the kernel have not been taken out. This type of bread keeps the whole grain either as individual grains or as flour.

Whole grains provide the body with much-needed fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Nutritionists advise us all to eat more wholegrain foods because many of us are not eating as much as we should be.

Oats

Including oats in your diet can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Oats are a great source of beta glucans, a type of soluble fibre that has been proven to help manage cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of developing heart disease.

To find out more about how much energy and certain key nutrients are required for a balanced diet check out nutritional guidelines.