I wrote this post in collaboration with the The Bakers and Millers of Britain.
What’s the best thing since sliced bread in 2017?
Avocado on toast? Scrambled eggs on toast with marmite (a personal fave!)? Jamie’s avo, eggs and toast for Camilla on Love Island?
Nope, this year’s version is UNICORN TOAST, made with natural food colouring, cream cheese and of course, toasted sliced bread.
Bread has been given a bad rep over the years but it’s high in fibre, low in salt, fat and sugar and it’s cheap! The Bakers and Millers of Britain are aiming to reignite our love for this traditional staple by giving out FREE UNICORN TOAST at the pop-up Toast or Hands Cafe at 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY from 7.30am-5pm (I’ll be there from 10-11am to fuel up before my hen do that weekend!). Find out more at @WeHeartBread
Of course, those not convinced that bread is a great healthy, high fibre breakfast option could just have the topping without the bread….straight on your hand?!
P.S How good will the Unicorn Toast look on Instagram?!!
Personally, I love bread. We always have a loaf in the freezer and one next to the toaster, and I often make sandwiches to take to uni for lunch and one for Tom to take to work (a ham & cheese sandwich is one of his diet staples!) Post bootcamp on Saturday mornings are for scrambled or poached eggs on toast, while Pip & Nut coconut and almond butter on toast with strawberries and raspberries is my ideal afternoon snack. And I can’t wait to give unicorn toast a try!
Sliced bread might not be on your average clean eating instagram, but given its nutritional profile. In two slices of standard sliced wholemeal bread you’ll find close to 7g protein, 4g dietary fibre, and 10% of your daily Thiamin and Folate, plus 50% of your Manganese requirements.
We should be consuming 30g fibre per day according to government guidelines, however most of the population currently only eats about half of that.
Fibre, not only helps keep you regular, but can also help improve heart health, prevent diabetes, reduces risk of colorectal cancer and can aid weight loss. Some studies have shown that achieving just the recommended 30g per day could be as efficient as more complicated diets at lowering blood pressure and improving your body’s response to insulin, but also could help you lose (and keep off) excess weight. Moreover, studies have found that women who gradually increased their fibre consumption over time were less likely to put on excess weight than those that didn’t.
There are two types of fibre; insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fibre cannot be digested by the body and is found in wholemeal breads, (wholegrain brown breads, seeded loaves and multigrain options are best!) cereals, pasta, brown rice, vegetables, potatoes (skin on), nuts and seeds. It passes through your gut without being broken down, helping other foods and waste pass through your digestive system more easily and quickly, reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
Soluble fibre, also known as fermentable fibre, can be digested by your body. It’s found in grains, (including oats and barley), fruits, beans, pulses and root vegetables. It dissolves in water, forming a gel in your gut. As well as keeping your stools soft, helping them pass more quickly and avoid constipation, it also helps reduce the blood cholesterol due to the beta-glucan and pectins in many of its sources.
How can you increase your fibre intake?
There are plenty of ways to increase your fibre intake immediately and without even going out of your way too much:
- Add more wholegrains into your diet – choose wholemeal or multigrain bread or seeded loaves. Opt for brown rice and pasta, quinoa, millet and farro to bulk out your meals.
- Be sure to eat your five fruit and vegetables each day – why not try to eat vegan or veggie for at least one meal a day, focusing on the vegetable component rather than centering around meat.
- Start the day right with a high-fibre breakfast such as two pieces of multigrain toast with nut butter and banana. Did you know that 2 slices of multigrain toast have up to 6.6g fibre? That’s more than most servings of grains, beans and vegetables! Or pop down for a free slice of unicorn toast Toast or Hands Cafe at 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY from 7.30am-5pm.
- Rather than bulking out meals with white rice or potatoes, try something different like adding kidney beans, lentils or chickpeas, which are far higher in both fibre and flavour. Add a slice of bread to the side of your salad to help keep you fuller for longer.
- Keep the skins on your potatoes, sweet potatoes, and root veg.
- Snack on high fibre goodies like nuts, seeds and dried fruits throughout the day. Or make a simple piece of toast as a post-workout snack.
- Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to help the soluble fibre digest.
You’ll probably want to increase your fibre levels gradually to avoid any possible unpleasant (smelly) side effects!
This post is sponsored by The Bakers and Millers of Britain. Some photos taken by Anna Jackson.