Coming into Pesach I thought it fitting to compare the nutritional facts of bread Vs its replacement (Matzah) for 8 days over a festival known as Passover.
Bread comes in many different varieties: white, wholemeal, wholegrain etc. etc.
The health rating of breads is usually determined by the fibre content and GI. The calorie content of all breads is quite similar ~100-150 cal per slice.
White bread is made by milling wheat to remove the outer layer of the grain. Additives that make the dough rise rapidly results in a high glycaemic index (GI). Fibre content is low, approximately 1g per slice.
When it's made from ground whole grains, wholemeal bread has a similar nutritional value to wholegrain bread. However, most packaged wholemeal is made by recombining white flour with wholemeal agents such as bran and wheatgerm. This is cheaper for the manufacturers and doesn't provide the same nutritional balance. Wholemeal bread has more fibre than white bread and a higher GI than wholegrain bread. Fibre content approximately 2g per slice
While multigrain bread is often white bread with grains added, wholegrain has grains (and often seeds) added to wholemeal flour for extra nutritional value. Wholegrain breads (including rye and sourdough varieties) have up to four times the fibre of white breads, making them one of the healthiest options. Wholegrain breads are low GI because the seeds and grains take longer to digest. Fibre content approximately 1.5 to 4.5g per slice.
Sourdough breads take longer to rise and therefore have the lowest GI.
Best breads (and often tastiest) to choose will be higher fibre, whole grain sourdoughs.
IF SOMEONE IS NOT A KNOWN COELIAC THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE IN EATING GLUTEN FREE BREADS
Most commercially bought matzo is made with either wheat flour, spelt, barley, rye or egg. An advantage that matzo has over most breads is its low salt (sodium) content. However, comes in very low in the fibre department as well as having a high GI (similar to white bread).
In summary, matzah doesn’t stand up nutritionally to the higher quality breads. Luckily Jewish people only have to eat Matzah during 8 days of the year.
ADVICE: To counteract a potentially lower fibre intake over Passover, it is very important that everyone is including adequate fruits (1-2/day), vegetables (4-5cups cooked/salad veg/day) and water (between 2-2.5L/day) to ensure a healthy gut.
HAPPY PASSOVER TO ALL :)