Bread is a staple food in many countries and has been eaten worldwide since the dawn of human civilisations. Typically prepared from a dough made of flour and water, bread is available in many varieties, including sourdough, sweet bread and more. But what’s the most famous of them all? You guessed it right. It’s our all time favorite: Garlic bread!
Besides being famous, it is also one of the most ordered side dishes in restaurants, pairing perfectly with any food due to its delicious taste. Take pasta for example, people order garlic bread as a side to the main course more often than not.
But here’s the question you’re looking for an answer to: is garlic bread healthy?
Despite its popularity, people wonder if they are making the right choice healthwise by enjoying this dish. Here’s a simple and straightforward answer. YES, garlic bread is healthy, given that the bread itself is made from whole wheat flour and not white flour.
But HOW exactly is it healthy?
Made of wheat flour, garlic bread is high in carbohydrates, hence a good source of energy. The fiber content in garlic bread is highly effective in keeping the heart safe. It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol level), maintains blood sugar level, and controls high blood pressure. Containing unsaturated fat, it does not clog the arteries, having zero negative effect on blood flow.
Eating fresh garlic bread is not only safe but also beneficial. It contains Vitamin C which plays a crucial role in building immunity. The sulfur and Vitamin C present in the garlic do not allow any cell damage from occurring. It is also scientifically proven that sulfur content prevents cancerous cells from spreading in the body. It contains a bundle of fiber which is good for controlling weight. The calcium content in it is good for bones as well.
Plus, the allicin content is good for bodybuilders and athletes. They reduce muscle soreness, which we usually feel after a heavy workout. The nutrients increase energy levels which leads to increase in stamina.
Another lesser asked question that gets thrown around a lot: is garlic bread good for weight loss? And the answer is a resounding yes – for the most part. The ones made of wheat and olive oil contain a bundle of fiber that is super helpful in controlling weight. It reduces the fat-storing in the arteries which leads to better blood flow as previously mentioned. This also allows metabolism to take place at a rapid pace, causing the conversion of fat cells into energy. Similarly, olive oil also helps in keeping the weight down. It has high unsaturated fat that does not store around the belly. It contains antioxidants and minerals that work in harmony to burn more fat.
Disadvantages of garlic bread
Everything has its pros and cons, now it’s time for us to brush over the latter. Yes, even garlic bread has its disadvantages, sadly.
It mostly revolves around having too much garlic in general. Consuming a lot of garlic bread leads to bad breath, digestive problems and acidity. Being high on the glycemic index scale, it is not advised for people with obesity and diabetes. One of the most serious side effects of eating too much garlic is an increased risk of bleeding. Garlics have antithrombotic properties, and may prevent blood clots from forming. They are also high in fructans, a type of carb that may cause bloating, gas, and stomach pain in some people. High amounts of sodium content in garlic can cause blood pressure to rise. In addition it can also lead to kidney failure, osteoporosis, and stomach cancer.
We all know garlic bread is made with lots of butter or oil (and sometimes cheese), making it super tasty. But these are rich in saturated fats, high levels of which may cause major fatal heart complications like high blood pressure, clogging of arteries, stroke, and even heart attack. Due to the artificial butter, cheese, and oil used in making garlic bread, store bought is not healthy to eat at all. Frozen garlic bread is made of white bread which does not contain any fiber and unsaturated fat content.
If you are leading a healthy lifestyle, however, one to two servings per day will not be an issue. But as we know, too much of anything is always harmful. So it is best to enjoy in moderation and reduce your intake if you observe any adverse effects on your health.
As a bonus, here’s a super simple and tasty recipe for a preparing a healthy garlic bread:
Step 1: Using the right ingredients.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or softened butter
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- grated cheddar or parmesan cheese *optional
- 3 medium slices of fresh whole wheat or sourdough bread.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 5). Place olive oil, garlic and parsley in a food processor and blend thoroughly to make a paste.
Step 3: Spread a thin layer of paste on bread slices – grated cheese is optional. Place on a baking tray and toast in the oven for five minutes or until golden.
And you’re good to go. We hope you enjoy your garlic bread!