For thousands of years, bread has been a universal delicacy consumed in all parts of the world. Its popular and loved by almost everyone, with several culinary applications that are too numerous to count. However, many people are worried about the calorie content of bread, causing them to seek ways to reduce calories in bread, such as toasting it.
Toasting bread doesnt reduce calories. Instead, it alters the glucose levels in bread and significantly lowers the glycemic index. Toasting bread can also help to reduce the fat content of bread slightly. But when you put toppings on it, you lose these slight reductions.
Although toasting bread doesnt reduce the calories found in bread, it reduces the glycemic index of bread, which is an added benefit. Read on to discover:
Toasting Bread Reduces Glycemic Index
Several studies continue to prove that toasting bread significantly reduces the glycemic index of the bread. The carbohydrates in toasted bread break down more slowly, resulting in a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream and, as a result, are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar.
Although this process may not mean anything to people that eat bread once in a while, itll make a significant difference to you if you eat bread every day. Its also the reason why weight watchers are often advised to choose toasted bread over raw bread.
What Is a Glycemic Index?
Put simply, glycemic index (GI) is a scale used to measure the sugar in the carbohydrates we consume. The glycemic index shows how the body digests carbohydrates and how quickly the food consumed will cause your blood sugar to rise.
A low glycemic index is very beneficial to the bodys health in the following ways:
Benefits of Toasted Bread
Despite the popularity of toasting bread, many people do not realize the benefits that it holds. Maybe some do, but a vast majority dont!
Perhaps, you are also wondering whether theres any need to toast bread since it doesnt reduce calories. The most significant benefit of toasting bread is that the process changes the nutritional value of the bread.
Beyond changing nutritional values of bread, it has several other benefits, including:
What Happens When Bread Is Toasted?
The whole process of toasting bread may seem simple, but it does so many things to the breads nutritional value.
Here are two main things that happen when you toast bread:
Why Does the Taste of Bread Change After Toasting?
The taste of bread changes after toasting because toasting causes carbohydrates and amino acids to react under heat. The process forms a caramelized outer layer of bread and changes the flavour through the Maillard reaction.
The Maillard reaction is responsible for the change in taste, aroma, and colour of foods when food is exposed to heat in cooking processes such as baking, roasting, and toasting. This reaction plays an essential role in determining the nutritional value of food.
It can also reduce the nutritional value of food by forming toxic compounds or increase the nutritional value by developing antioxidative properties.
Dry heat is key to a perfect browning from the Maillard reaction, which is why boiling food doesnt undergo browning.
Does Toasting Bread Reduce Gluten?
While toasting bread has a myriad of benefits, its not out of place for people with celiacdiseases to wonder if toasting bread will reduce the gluten in bread and make it more tolerable.
Also, since heat can render protein ineffective in some cases, its not far-fetched to wonder if heat could do the same for gluten.
This is especially important to know since even the most negligible ingestion of gluten can affect the immune system and damage the small intestines, leading to digestive problems for people with celiac diseases. The slightest exposure can also lead to the malabsorption of nutrients, calcium, folic acid, iron, and vitamins.
Toasting bread doesnt reduce gluten content in bread, however.
Gluten is a protein, not a germ, virus, bacteria, or fungus that can be killed by heat. Therefore, you cannot kill it. Of course, you can also argue that some protein can be denatured by heat. Denaturing protein means changing its three-dimensional shape.
In some cases, this change can make the protein ineffective, but unfortunately, the case is different for gluten. Since gluten doesnt work the same way, toasting alone would not render gluten innocuous.
A recent study from the Childrens National Hospital showed zero loss of gluten levels when bread is toasted.
The Disadvantage of Toasting Bread
Despite the numerous benefits of toasting bread, you must also realize that there are some disadvantages. The biggest drawback of toasting bread is the release of acrylamide. When high starch foods are exposed to high temperatures and extreme heat, they release acrylamide.
What Is Acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a carcinogen formed when carbohydrates are cooked at high temperatures during the cooking processes such as frying, baking, roasting, and toasting.
When you toast bread, the sugars and an amino acid called asparagine will react to form acrylamide. Fortunately, acrylamide only becomes a problem when bread is burnt or over toasted, which simply means that browner toast contains higher levels of acrylamide.
Should You Stop Eating Toasted Bread?
You shouldnt stop eating toast bread. After all, there are several benefits that youll miss by avoiding it altogether. However, you must be careful about the quantities of toasted bread you eat.
Here are some guidelines to follow when toasting bread:
How Much Nutritional Value Is Lost When Bread Is Toasted?
When you compare different types of loaves of bread, whether whole wheat, rye, or raisin, with the changes in their nutritional value when toasted or untoasted, you will find out that there are no significant changes in their nutritional values.
Most nutrients such as carbohydrates, calories, fatty acids, protein, sodium remain the same whether the bread is toasted or untoasted. The amount of water in untoasted bread decreases after toasting, which could be attributed to the high temperatures used when toasting bread.
One study published by PubMed showed that freezing and defrosting bread followed by toasting the bread resulted in a change in the glucose level. It also showed a reduction in the breads glycemic index.
How To Make a Healthier Toast?
Toasted bread is a breakfast delicacy that is difficult to eliminate from your diet. Most toast is full of carbohydrates, sugars, sweeteners, and other additives that can negatively affect your calorie count.
However, you dont have to remove toast entirely from your diet. Instead, you can use healthier ingredients.