Is spelled bread from the supermarket really that healthy?

Spelled bread is a health hype and supermarkets such as Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Plus are consciously responding to this. It has been proven that spelled bread contains much fewer fast carbohydrates than normal white or brown wheat bread. Since Kris Verburgh’s Food Hourglass was released, people are increasingly looking for a replacement for the not so nutritious white wheat bread. However, spelled bread from a supermarket often consists mainly of spelled flour instead of spelled flour. In addition, there are no strict regulations regarding spelled bread, which means that many supermarkets partially mix the spelled flour with wheat flour or flour. This means that the spelled bread you buy at the supermarket may not be that healthy at all.

Why would spelled bread be healthy?

Spelled bread is generally grown more sustainably than wheat, so fewer pesticides and less fertilizer are used during cultivation. In addition, spelled bread, like whole wheat bread, has a lower glycemic index, which means it causes less spikes in sugar levels. Subsequently, the spelled grain is less cultivated, which generally means it contains more nutrients such as proteins than wheat grains. Finally, there is also less gluten in spelled bread than in wheat bread. All these health benefits can mainly be attributed to whole wheat spelled bread and not to white spelled bread.

Legislation spelled and whole wheat bread

There is strict legislation in the Netherlands for whole wheat bread. Before you can call a bread whole wheat, it must actually consist of 100% whole wheat flour. There is no such legislation yet for spelled bread that allows suppliers to mix spelled flour with the unhealthy wheat flour or wheat flour. In Germany there is legislation on spelled bread, where the bread must consist of at least 90% spelled flour.

Explanation of bran: white or whole wheat spelled bread

Normal whole wheat bread is healthier than white or brown wheat bread. This is because in whole wheat bread the entire grain is processed. With white bread, only flour is used, which is only the inner part of the wheat grain and not the outside where most of the nutrients are located. The outside of the wheat grains is called bran. With spelled bread it is also possible to use only the inside or the entire grain. So there is a difference between whole wheat spelled bread made from whole wheat spelled flour and white spelled bread made from spelled flour. The latter variant is much less healthy, just as white bread is much less nutritious than whole wheat bread. However, both are sold as spelled bread. Always make sure by reading the label that when you buy a spelled bread it mainly consists of spelled flour. In general, to save money, supermarkets will use mixed spelled flour, which significantly reduces the nutritional benefits of spelled bread. However, at artisanal bakers, the bread will often consist mainly of spelled flour.

Cash register research

The Kassa program examined the spelled breads and labels at supermarkets with three experts. For example, they examined breads from popular supermarkets such as Hoogvliet, Albert Heijn, C1000, Plus and Jumbo. They discovered that many of the breads consist of spelled flour and often not spelled flour. The labels are misleading. For example, a label claims that the spelled bread is 100% whole wheat, while at the same time it is made from spelled flour. Flour can never be whole wheat. The supermarkets can provide false information because there are no laws about this yet. You can also sell spelled flour without mentioning that 15% wheat flour has been mixed in, after which the baker can also mix this in, so that ultimately a significant percentage of the bread consists of wheat flour or flour. All in all, none of the experts believed that the breads from the supermarkets were real whole wheat spelled breads.

Where can you buy whole wheat spelled bread?

As Kassa’s research shows, most supermarkets cannot be trusted in this area. They use the hyped name of spelled bread to sell breads at a higher price that are just as unhealthy as white wheat bread. When you buy spelled bread from a traditional baker who actually knows what grains the bread is made with, you have a greater chance of getting a healthy whole-grain spelled bread. However, as long as the legislation has not yet been amended, you as a consumer are still in the dark and purchasing a spelled bread is mainly a matter of trust in the selling party.

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