Brennans Bread are synonymous with wholesome, traditional Ireland and the company have composed a survey, hearing from 600 people nationwide, to understand better the views and opinions with regards to consumption of bread.
What Brennans found was the over half of those surveyed believe white bread is bad for you; causes bloating; makes you fat. Most surveyed revealed they enjoy the taste, with a fifth saying they "love" how white bread tastes. However, over 1/3 of those surveyed replied that they don't eat it because they have heard it's bad for them. Similarly, 1/4 of respondants said they believe white bread is too fattening.
Dr Mary McCreery, Consultant Clinical Nutritionist and Dietician at Blackrock Clinic supports this by saying “In addition to all of the positive nutrients that white bread provides, it is one of the lowest fat products that people can consume, contributing only 1% of their total fat intake”. A recent review by the British Nutrition Foundation concluded that there is no scientific evidence that white bread, whether produced by modern or traditional methods, causes bloating or gastrointestinal discomfort.
Reviewing the survey results, Dr McCreery said, “I was quite surprised from the survey results to see that many Irish people are not aware of their recommended dietary requirements. At least 55% of our total energy intake should be based on carbohydrate foods and currently the Irish diet contains less than 45%, so as a nation we really need to increase our carbohydrate intake. There is also a large misconception amongst the public that white bread is fattening, but white bread is a low-fat, high carbohydrate nutritious food that can and should be included in the daily diet. We get the same amount of energy in our diets from white bread as we do from fruit and vegetables”.
Regardless of the concerns over white bread, more people in Ireland eat white bread over brown bread. Only a third of people who choose brown bread over white do so because they prefer the taste. Alternative breads such as bagels, baguettes and wraps fared poorly with between 5% and 7% of people surveyed respectively claiming that they eat them regularly.