There is some serious scaremongering going on when it comes to carbohydrate foods. With the popularity of restrictive diets that eliminate entire food groups, the public is becoming scared of eating nutritious foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals. The recent release of the 2014 Australian Grains & Legumes Consumption & Attitudinal Study by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council revealed that:
- Average serves of core grain food has dropped by almost one third (29%) between 2011 and 2014.
- Lower consumption of grains appears to be driven by widespread misconceptions and a lack of understanding about the health benefits of core grain foods.
- Over the past five years, Australians have become more confused about quality grain food choices, with
fewer people able to identify whole grain and high fibre grain foods.
- More than two thirds (70%) of adults are not meeting the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendation of consuming mostly whole grain and 55% are not meeting the whole grain Daily Target Intake of 48 grams, increasing their risk of chronic disease.
The main reasons why people are avoiding these foods has been due to the notion that carbohydrates can make you fat and that grains can make you feel bloated. However in fact, the review of the evidence supporting the update of the Australian Dietary Guidelines found that consumption of 3-5 serves per day of cereal foods (mainly wholegrain) is associated with a reduced risk of weight gain. Regularly eating wholegrains is also associated with lowering your risk of heart disease and certain cancers such as colon cancer.
Wholegrain cereals contain the three layers of the grain of which the outermost layer holds a lot of the important nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals compared to more refined cereals (for example, white flour). Wholemeal foods are made from wholegrains which have been crushed to a finer texture.
So as you can gather, I am a fan of cereals. The amazing thing about them is not only in their nutritious qualities but also in terms of price and accessibility. Wheat, particularly in the form of flour, is affordable, mostly locally produced and readily available to most of the population.
I have recently started baking my own bread and realised it’s actually not that hard. While it can take a bit of time (you need to leave the dough to rise a few times and I don’t have a bread maker), it is one of the most satisfying things to make. I love the smell of bread coming from my kitchen and also enjoy the fact that a plain wholemeal loaf only costs about $1.40 to make- much less than commercial varieties.
So with that, here are a couple of basic bread recipes for you to try:
I will be adding more affordable, nutritious bread recipes soon because “you don’t need dough, to knead dough.”