The Bread Board

The Bread Board

Bread - Friend or Foe?

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Mixed messages are noticed when asked about the role of bread and its nutritional benefits. This is the result of a new study by the CSA (Consumer Science & Analytics) Institute that shows a strong ignorance of the population about the nutritional contributions and realities of bread. The bread observatory warns of the perverse effects of this perception, which could lead Australians to substitute breads, for more high in fat products and less rich nutrients.

Knowledge of the nutritional properties of bread:

Bread is an extraordinary food! It is low in fat but provides the complex carbohydrates, plant proteins and fibres essential to the functioning of our body. However, if we consume it, it is mainly for the pleasure that it provides (for 92% of us), and less for the nutritional qualities attributed to it (45%). More worryingly, the CSA study reveals that a third of Australians (29%) are convinced that bread makes you fat. This opinion is shared by almost half of 18-24-year-olds (47%) and 41% of "high income" households.

At a time when 80% of surveys say they are attentive to their balanced diet, the persistence of this misconception explains that 2 in 5 people believe that it is appropriate to eat bread only 3 times a week. 1 in 5 considers that we should eat bread "as little as possible" (35% among 18-24 years). These figures are in total contradiction with the recommendations of health professionals. According to Dr Patrick Sérog, "Nowadays people are deficient in complex carbohydrates which are nevertheless an essential source of energy for the body and the brain. The consequences can be very concrete in terms of fatigue, not to mention the subsequent weight gain because the bread is often replaced by less qualitative foods and more fat”.

A need for awareness and information for the general public:

For Dr Sérog, if public awareness of bread intake seems to be essential, it will be necessary to start from the bottom. For example, the fact that bread belongs under the category of cereals and starchy foods is not an achievement for everyone.

Similarly, they largely ignore its average content of vitamins, minerals or plant fibres (only 33% think it contains fibre).

The most worrying is, of course, the opinion of the youths.

For Patrick Sérog "young people enjoy eating bread (90%) but are so clueless of its virtues that some are deprived of it! ". 63% of 18-24-year-olds look for nutritional information on the internet and social networks, where it is sometimes difficult to disentangle the true from the fake in terms of food. "In this context, one thing is clear: pedagogical messages about the nutritional reality of bread should be relayed wherever possible, particularly by the public authorities," said Dominique Anract and Bernard Valluis, co-chair of the Bread Observatory.

"Bread is par ultimately useful and pleasant while playing a role in our cultural heritage. Its rehabilitation in our daily life is, therefore, an issue of health and nutrition, but also of society.”

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