Is sourdough really healthier than regular bread?

Many people love a hot and fluffy slice of sourdough bread. You can toast it with a little butter, use it to make a sandwich, or dip it into your favorite winter soup. However you choose to eat it, it is a type of bread that is full of flavor and quite easy to make at home. Just ask everyone who took it up as a hobby during 2020.

The flavor of sourdough sets it apart from many other types of bread, and that is achieved through a unique fermentation process. Instead of using a traditional yeast, which is how other breads rise when baked, sourdough is made with a “starter,” which is flour and water combined and left to rise for a couple of days minimum. .

Due to sourdough’s unique fermentation process, it has long been considered to be potentially healthier than more refined types of bread, but why? Is there any truth to the belief that sourdough is actually healthier than regular bread?

To find out more, we talked to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDNregistered dietitian and author of The New Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook Y Feeding Male Fertility. Read on to find out her expert take on whether or not sourdough is a healthier bread option than the alternatives, and for more expert advice related to this delicious staple, be sure to also check out A Major Side Effect of Eating Bread say dietitians.

Sourdough may be better for blood sugar control


The short answer is yes, when it comes to your blood sugar, sourdough may be better for you.

“Sourdough bread may have a slight advantage over refined white bread for a number of reasons,” Manaker says.

For one thing, sourdough bread often has a lower glycemic index (GI) than other types of bread, which, according to Manaker, makes it “a better choice for people who are focused on energy management.” Blood glucose”.

The GI is a way of measuring how fast certain foods can raise your blood sugar using a scale that goes from zero to 100, with sugar being 100. According to Clinical and experimental research on agingan average sourdough bread has a GI of about 54, while a more refined white wheat flour bread has a GI of 71.

RELATED: 6 Breads That Use the Highest-Quality Ingredients

Sourdough may be better for gut health

Spread sourdough bread

Another benefit that sourdough has is that it can help with gut health, again due to the fermentation process.

“Sourdough bread may contain prebiotic fiber, which is the result of fermentation,” Manaker explains. This can support the live, beneficial bacteria that live in the gut by acting as a selective fuel.”

“Selective fuel is important because it means that the prebiotic fiber is used as fuel by certain beneficial bacteria, but not by less desirable bacteria, such as E. coli,” he adds.

In the end, it depends on the person.

fresh bread, wheat and cereals

Unfortunately, some recent research has suggested that the health benefits of sourdough may depend on the individual, meaning that it may not actually be healthier for you. all the world.

A small 2017 study in Cellular metabolism investigated the effects of sourdough and white bread on various participants. While some people had better blood glucose control after eating sourdough on white bread, there were also people who saw a higher spike after eating sourdough.

“To our great shock and surprise, we found no significant differences between the two loaves in any of the parameters we collected,” Eran Segal, one of the lead scientists on the study, reportedly said. the atlantic.

Food to go

Sourdough almost always has a lower glycemic index than refined bread, and it has the potential to help your gut microbiome. Other than that, there aren’t many noticeable differences between these types of bread, and the current (albeit small) research suggests that it all really depends on the individual.

“Ultimately, different breads offer different health benefits to an individual. And for some, sourdough bread can be a great option for their unique needs,” says Manaker.

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