For breakfast, lunch or dinner: the French love it and yet this food is ultra-processed.
Burger, surimi, sweets, breakfast cereals, nuggets… While certain foods can easily be identified as “ultra-processed“, others are more sneaky. This is the case of a product particularly appreciated by the French.
Bread, this false friend
According to four nutrition experts from Deakin University (Australia), bread is indeed an ultra-processed food.
Certainly, on paper, it combines the advantages: it increases satiety, is rich in slow sugars, it contains vitamins E and B as well as essential minerals (magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, etc.). Except that some breads, sold in supermarkets, display a long list of ingredients.
“In its sliced form, bread often contains so many more ingredients than the bread our ancestors ate that it is now widely considered an ultra-processed food,” they say. And for good reason : “These packaged breads contain emulsifiers, modified starches and vegetable gums – they are usually breads packaged in plastic, sliced and cheaper”warn the experts cited by The Conversation.
However, emulsifiers notably increase the risk of developing certain cancers.
Watch out for salt and sugar levels!
The amount of salt in different brands of bread can also vary from one teaspoon to four teaspoons per loaf, the article further states.
The most important thing in this case? “Check the sodium levels on the label and try to buy bread with less than 0.7g of salt per 100g (or 0.3g of sodium per 100g). explain the scientists.
The sugar level in supermarket bread can also be high, at 2 to 4 grams of sugar per 100 grams of bread. But the presence of sugar is variable”depending on the brand“, specify the researchers.
How to choose good bread?
Scientists say that breads sold in bakeries are rarely ultra-processed.
“If you’re looking for a real, traditional sourdough bread, check that it only contains flour, water and salt“, they specify, before adding: “Although bread sold in supermarkets can be classified as ultra-processed, that doesn’t mean you can’t include it in a balanced diet. Also think about the side dish: a hot dog is less healthy than tomato toast“.