Bread is a food product obtained by frying, steaming or baking dough. In most cases, it is made using yeast as a leavening agent. Spices and spices are added to some varieties ( garlic, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, sesame seeds ), dried fruits ( raisins, dried apricots), nuts, preservatives, flavors and food coloring. The basis of the dough is flour, water, salt. Various types of flour are used to make bread: wheat, rye, corn, barley or oatmeal.

Cereal products dominate in the daily human diet. At the same time, the assortment of bakery products is replenished every year. Recently, disputes and discussions regarding the benefits and harms of different types of bread have not ceased. Some argue that this is a healthy food product, with a rich vitamin and mineral composition. Others, on the contrary, are convinced that it can disrupt normal intestinal motility. Interestingly, the hostility between the two opposing camps is still going on.

Consider in detail the beneficial and harmful properties of the most popular varieties of bread (wheat, rye, corn, bran, whole grain), and also find out which of them should be preferred.

Historical information

Bread appeared in the Neolithic era and was a baked slurry of water and cereals. It is not known for certain whether it was the result of deliberate experiments or accidental preparations with water and cereals. Descendants of such early breads, which are still made today, are Indian chapati, North American corn and Scottish oatmeal, Mexican tortilla, Chinese baobin, and Ethiopian injera. It is interesting that a sieve and grain were found in the burial of the Tokhars, indicating the use of foodstuffs from flour.

It is believed that the first wheat bread based on yeast dough was baked in Egypt, where favorable climatic conditions contributed to the growth of cereals. In medieval Europe, it was part of the table setting. Food was placed on pieces of stale bread measuring 15 x 10 cm - they perfectly absorbed moisture. Thus,bread plates simultaneously served as dishes and served as the basis of food. After the meal, the pieces were eaten or they were given to the poor, animals. It was not until the 15th century that this tradition ended when food utensils were made from wood.

Today barley bread is used in Greece, southern Germany, Switzerland, oat flour in Scotland and Sweden, corn in North and South America, Hungary and Romania, South China, India - from rice, in Egypt - from durra (has a sour taste), Asia and Africa - from sorghum. In other modern cultural countries, products made from wheat and rye are common.


Since ancient times, white bread was considered a product of rich people, while the poor strata of the population ate gray or black (rye) bread. In the middle of the 20th century, these beliefs changed dramatically: now it is believed that gray and black varieties of bread have a greater nutritional value and microelement diversity than white, which does not bring any benefit to the human body.

Types of flour

According to the degree of processing and the method of obtaining bread grains, flour is varietal, semolina, wholemeal, whole grain and peeled.

Varietal flour and semolina are products from which the aleurone layer and the outer shells of the grain have been removed. The bread obtained from these varieties has a low nutritional value, since it is 90% devoid of vitamins, macro- and microelements contained in the upper exfoliating covers. The size of the grain flour fractions does not exceed 500 micrometers (µm).

Wholemeal flour is obtained from unrefined grains with bran. Particle sizes reach up to 600 microns. Due to the fact that during the production process the grain is not cleaned, but is ground together with the shell, bread baked from this type of flour is a storehouse of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Whole-grain and peeled types of flour are of the greatest value for the human body. The first is obtained by grinding raw grains, the second - from the outer shells. Whole grain and peeled flour - varieties of wholemeal flour, which contain less carbohydrates than varietal and semolina, but more vitamins and fiber.

Chemical composition

The nutritional value of the product directly depends on the recipe of bread, as well as on the type of flour. The greatest amount of nutrients is found in yeast-free products made from whole grains with the addition of bran.

The higher the grade of flour, the less nutrients and more starch in it, which affects the energy value of the product. In wheat bread, the following amino acids are the most deficient: lysine, tryptophan, methionine, in rye bread - only the last two.

Vflour products contain up to 40% glutamic acid, which binds ammonia, participates in metabolism, increases mental and physical performance. Carbohydrates predominate in all bread products (50%), which supply the human body with energy, and also increase intestinal motility.

Table No. 1 "Nutritional value of bread by type of cereals"
Components Content (g) in 100 g of product
Wheat Rye Corn Bran Cereal Blend (Whole Grain)
Calorie content, kcal 235 259 266 248 252
Water 37.7 37.3 0 37.8 39.01
Proteins 7.9 8.5 6.7 8.8 12.45
Fat 1 3.3 7.1 3.4 3.5
Carbs 48.3 42.5 43.5 43.8 42.71
Dietary fiber 3.3 5.8 0 4 7.4
Ash 1.5 2.5 3.6 2.2 2.32
Table No. 2 "Chemical composition of bread by type of cereal"
Name Nutrient content (mg) per 100 g of product
Wheat Rye Corn Bran Mixture of cereals (whole grain)
Retinol (A) 0 0.006 0 0 0.001
(1 57) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.29 0.44 0.339 0.536 0.336
Tocopherol (E) 1.3 0.33 0 0.32 2.7
Riboflavin (B2) 0.06 0.335 0.294 0.287 0.2
Niacin (PP) 1.6 3.8 0 4.402 4.042
Biotin (H) 0.0017 0 0 ) 0 0
Phylloquinone (K) 0 0 0 0.0013 0.0078
Choline (B4) 54 14.6 22 18.7 27.2
Cyanocobalamin (B12) 0 0 0.15 0 0
Ascorbic acid (C) 0 0.4 0.3 0 0
Thiamine (B1) 0.16 0.434 0.291 0.397 0.4
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.13 0.075 0.113 0.176 0.263
Folic acid (B9) 0.027 0.151 0.077 0.161 0.042
Potassium 133 ) 166 147 227 254
Phosphorus 87 125 169 185 212
Calcium 23 73 249 74 161
Silicon 2.2 0 0 0 0
Sulfur 59 85 0 88 0
Chlorine 837 980 0 0 0
Magnesium 33 40 25 81 75
Sodium 378 603 658 486 455
Trace elements
Iron 2 2.83 2.5 3.07 2.5
Copper 0.134 0.186 0.051 0.221 0.282
Molybdenum 0.0128 0.008 0 0 0
Fluorine 0 0.051 0 0 0
Chromium 0.0022 0.0027 0 0 0
Selenium 0.006 0.0309 0.0101 0.031 0.0257
(37 1) Iodine 0.0032 0.0056 0 0 0
Zinc 0.735 1.14 0.6 1.35 1.8
Manganese 0.825 0.824 0.118 1.668 2.2
Cobalt 0.0019 0 0 0 0

and disaccharides (6.39 g), starch and dextrins (25.67 g), essential amino acids (3.168 g), non-essential amino acids (4.963 g), omega-3 (0.205 g), omega-6 (1.667 g). The calculation is given for 100 g of the product.

Wheat bread

This cereal crop is grown in more than 80 states. The nutritional value of bakery products depends on the type of wheat. The following types of flour are distinguished:

1. Highest. It has the smallest particle size, the size of which does not exceed 40 microns. This variety is characterized by an almost complete absence of fiber, which makes the product soft, airy and the least useful from a dietary point of view. Bread made from this flour contains a lot of "empty" calories and gluten with a minimum of dietary fiber. As a result, products from the highest grade inhibit digestion, since they produce a "cement effect" that worsens the evacuation function of the intestine. For all its culinary appeal, the product does more harm than good.

2. First. A distinctive feature of this variety is the larger grain size, due to which bakery products stale more slowly. The first grade of flour occupies an intermediate position between the highest and the second. Its minimum composition is enriched by grain shell particles. Bread from such flour turns out soft, fragrant and magnificent.

3. Second. It is considered optimal for the preparation of bakery products. The size of fractions reaches 200 microns. In terms of vitamin and mineral composition, the second grade of wheat flour is approximately the same as the first two. A small content of vitamins is a consequence of the removal of grain shells at the stage of product production. As a result of this manipulation, the most valuable substances are, in fact, removed, and only the central part remains, containing exclusively a mixture of vegetable protein and starch.

There are a large number of types of white bread, the most popular of which are: lunch, lavash, matzo, chapati, naan, ciabatta.

Evaluation of one or another grade of wheat flour is carried out by the yield of gluten - the amount of specific vegetable proteins that ensure the density of the flour product and the adhesion of particles during dough kneading. A high-grade product contains a lot of this substance, which is fraught with complication of digestion, the development of diseases of the endocrine system, and the destruction of microflora. Gluten in the gastrointestinal tract turns into a paste, which makes it difficult for food to move through the intestines. In addition, products made from white flour are always high in calories and can be harmful to the health of people suffering from diabetes mellitus and obesity.

Nutritionists recommend ditching wheat bread in favor of rye, whole grain corn or bran bread.

Rye bread

Common people call rye bread black. Unlike white, it is prepared without the addition of yeast, which adversely affect the human body. They disrupt the intestinal microflora, acidify the gastric environment, creating favorable conditions for the formation of stones in the gallbladder and liver, ulcers, gastritis, and also for the occurrence of constipation. In addition, the use of yeast bakery products is dangerous because heat treatment does not always kill yeast fungi, which, when ingested, disrupt the absorption of calcium, produce toxic substances, and absorb vitamins and minerals.

Rye bread is a dietary product that has the best reputation among athletes, doctors, nutritionists and people leading a healthy lifestyle.

Its useful properties include the following:

  • stabilizes the digestive tract, improves absorption of food, removes toxic substances (for account of the abundance of hardfibers);
  • contains more amino acids, vitamins than wheat and corn bread (rye is more resistant to processing than other varieties of cereals, therefore it retains a maximum of useful components);
  • less calories (the more rye flour in a loaf of bread, the healthier the product);
  • quickly satisfies hunger, is characterized by high satiety;
  • reduces the risk of developing oncology, diabetes mellitus;
  • stimulates the formation of blood cells, increases hemoglobin.

Rye (black) bread is good for pregnant women, because it promotes the correct formation of the fetus, and it is also effective for anemia.

Possible harm:

  1. Worse absorbed. Interestingly, the human body absorbs nutrients faster from white bread than from rye. This puts an additional burden on the digestive organs, so nutritionists recommend alternating the use of rye bread and wheat / corn.
  2. May cause heartburn. It is preferable to combine it with first courses, fresh vegetables and milk. It is not recommended to use with fried meat.
  3. Brown bread is more sour than white bread, so it can resist mold. However, people with ulcers, gastritis, increased acidity of the stomach and intestinal diseases need to strictly control the amount of product consumed so as not to worsen the course of the disease.

The safe daily allowance of rye bread is 100 g. To reveal the useful properties of the product, it is recommended to use it regularly.


Currently, this product has not gained wide popularity; it is problematic to buy it in a store or order it in a restaurant. Cornbread continues to be only an amusement of housewives, despite the fact that it surpasses rye and wheat in properties. Such a product contains a lot of fiber, which has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the intestines, maintains its tone. Corn flour protects the cardiovascular system, as it resists the absorption of excess cholesterol, promotes weight loss, and enriches the body with vitamins and minerals. It is a dietary product indicated for use by people with pancreatic diseases, obesity, hypertension, tuberculosis.

Other useful properties:

  • stimulates metabolic processes;
  • normalizes blood circulation, bile secretion, blood sugar level;
  • strengthens the heart, blood vessels;
  • slows down aging;
  • is involved in the formation of muscle tissue;
  • Maintain Normalacid-base balance of the body;
  • fights inflammation in the bladder;
  • cures anemia.

The high fiber content and coarse structure of cornbread are detrimental to patients with digestive disorders. This product can provoke irritation and inflammation of the intestinal walls, exacerbate the course of gastritis, cholecystitis, ulcers. Cornbread is contraindicated in liver pathologies, as it causes an abundant secretion of bile, overloading the damaged organ. In addition, people with increased blood clotting should refrain from using it.

Corn is capable of accumulating nitrates, which cause the growth of malignant cells. In addition, cereal flour is a favorite delicacy of yellow mold, which contains carcinogens. Therefore, for the preparation of cornbread, you should not buy damp or spoiled products, which can cause allergic reactions, as well as digestive problems. The goods must be hermetically packed with indication of the country of origin, production date, expiration date. A quality product has a pleasant golden color, grains of the same size, without dark blotches. Only fresh, high-quality ingredients, in particular cornmeal, can make delicious, healthy pastries.

Whole-grain bread

This is the most useful product for the human body, which can be consumed without harm to the metabolism and figure.

Whole grain bread is considered an elite variety. The useful properties of the product are due to the fact that unsifted crushed grains up to 1.5 mm in size are used for its production. Thanks to this, it retains a maximum of useful substances, unlike white bread of the highest grade, where all grains with a diameter exceeding 0.05 mm are screened out.

Wheat grain contains useful substances (amino acids, enzymes, vitamins) in the shell, and inside, in fact, there are only pure carbohydrates that stimulate weight gain. For the production of ordinary flour, only the crushed core is taken. Accordingly, the finished product is devoid of nutrients and supplies the body with only carbohydrates, which in large quantities cause metabolic disorders.

Whole-grain bread, containing all the components of the grain, supplies the body with vitamins, enzymes, and energy. Unlike other varieties, it is easier to digest and does not disrupt metabolism.

Benefits of whole wheat flour products:

  • promote bowel function;
  • increase life expectancy (with regular use);
  • remove salts of heavy metals, toxins, radioactivesubstances, undigested food residues, cholesterol;
  • prevent oncological diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (due to the abundance of fiber in the composition);
  • bind intestinal bile acids, which exhibit atherogenic activity (dietary fiber);
  • reduce the risk of developing atherosclerotic changes in the vessels;
  • normalize blood sugar levels;
  • lower the pressure.

Recently, the fashion for whole grain products is gaining momentum, and therefore, a large number of fakes have appeared among a wide range. Unscrupulous producers under the guise of a useful product are trying to sell a product made from the core of the grain. Don't lose vigilance!

When choosing, pay attention to the following factors:

  1. Color. Whole grain bread can only have a dark color due to the presence of peripheral parts of the grains in the composition.
  2. Weight, structure. The product is heavy and coarse due to the presence of a high content of gluten and vegetable fibers.

Whole grain bread is not fluffy and soft, light in color. The coarser, darker the flour, the higher the fiber content in it, which means that the product is more valuable and nutritious. 100 g of whole grain bread should contain at least 5 g of dietary fiber.

Among the contraindications to the use of this type of bread, diseases of the digestive system are noted. It is believed that large fractions of coarsely ground flour can mechanically damage the delicate mucous membrane of the stomach, and an abundance of fiber can cause serious problems for a person with a diseased intestine.

Bread with bran

Like whole-grain bread, this type of bread is the undoubted health leader. It consists of 25% bran and 75% premium flour. In the context, it is gray in color, contains small yellow and light brown blotches. Bread with bran is a storehouse of dietary fiber that regulates the functioning of the intestines. It is an indispensable product for combating obesity, high sugar levels, metabolic disorders, hepatitis, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular diseases.

Bran is a grain husk, its outer shell, in which all vitamins, macro- and microelements, vegetable fiber are concentrated.

Useful properties of bran bread:

  • slows down the absorption of carbohydrates;
  • adsorbs toxins;
  • removes cholesterol;
  • increases stress resistance;
  • gives vivacity, activity;
  • improves the activity of the endocrine glands, the central nervous system;
  • supports normal metabolism;
  • binds heavy metal ions;
  • normalizes insulin levels;
  • prevents atherosclerosis;
  • reduces appetite;
  • improves immunity;
  • improves the functioning of the heart, brain;
  • improves the well-being of people suffering from acute rheumatism, diseases of the liver, kidneys;
  • has a mild laxative effect;
  • promotes weight loss.

Bread with bran may worsen the well-being of people suffering from the following diseases:

  • stomach ulcer;
  • hemorrhoids;
  • colitis;
  • gastric diseases (at the stage of exacerbation).

Despite the high calorie content, bran bread is a suitable product for weight loss. Fiber saturates the body and satisfies hunger. The main thing is to remember the sense of proportion. To maintain a slim figure, it is enough to eat 100 g of bran bread daily, preferably in the morning.

What is added during baking?

In addition to harmful baker's yeast, in the manufacture of flour products, special additives are introduced into the dough that improve the taste and appearance of the product, as well as increase its consumer qualities. Some of them are safe and even useful, while others, on the contrary, are harmful and dangerous to human health.

The most unpleasant drawback of bread is its rapid staleness. Therefore, today manufacturers of flour products widely use special substances that slow down this process.

Additives that prolong the freshness of bakery products include the following:

  • protein structure-modifying enzymes;
  • components that stop starch saccharification and, as a result, the formation of hard sugar crystals ( glucose-containing syrup);
  • preservatives that inhibit the growth of molds and bacteria in the crumb;
  • Natural thickeners that prevent bread from drying out by retaining moisture.

Eggs are sometimes added to the dough to improve the taste, but such a product spoils faster. To increase the nutritional value of bread, bran, nut seeds, dried fruits, and spices are introduced into it.

Frequently asked questions

Which bread is better?

From wholemeal flour, whole grain, yeast-free, with bran. Only in this case, you can be sure of the consumption of healthy bread, rich in fiber, essential amino acids, vitamins, macro- and microelements. In addition, adherents of a healthy diet are advised to opt for products with the addition of wheat germ.

Likechoose right?

First of all, pay attention to the appearance of the product. Opt for a loaf with a smooth crust that is free of cracks. Wheat bread should have a golden crust, rye bread should be dark brown, without foreign formations (black soot). Bread must never be burnt. Buy the product only with the current expiration date. In order to avoid the purchase of an underground product, it is recommended to buy bread from well-known manufacturing companies.

Signs of damage to the goods:

  • atypical taste, smell (violation of storage conditions);
  • sticky crumb (use of poor quality flour);
  • pale crust (bad pastries).

If at least one of the above signs is detected, the purchase of goods should be abandoned.

What is the right way to eat?

Remember: hot, freshly baked bread is bad for human health. It is recommended to give preference to the product of "yesterday's" production. The crispy crust is healthier than the crumb.

Do not combine the consumption of wheat bread with fatty foods (meat, fish), cereals, potatoes, as it complicates the digestion of already heavy food. Products made from corn and rye flour go well with non-starchy vegetables.

If mold appears, immediately discard the loaf, because if it enters the body, spores can cause severe poisoning of the body, the development of respiratory and blood diseases.


Bread is a universal food product present in the daily diet of all cultures and peoples. Along with potatoes, cereals, legumes, this is one of the most affordable sources of valuable vegetable protein (from 5.6 to 8.6%).

Bread is a storehouse of carbohydrates (40-50%), B vitamins, dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, calcium, potassium. Useful properties of flour products directly depend on the quality and grade of flour from which they are made.

Whole-grain rye bread or with bran is the most valuable. For the production of these varieties, wholemeal flour is used, made from unrefined grains (with a shell in which all nutrients are concentrated). Such a product acts as a cleaner, stimulates the intestines, strengthens the heart and blood vessels, fights high blood pressure, and supplies the body with energy. The main thing is to remember the measure. According to the conclusion of nutritionists, 100-150 g of yeast-free rye bread will saturate the body with fiber, vitamins, minerals and will not spoil the figure.

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