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Quiz: The truth about bread

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Brown bread always contains whole grains.

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Brown bread always contains whole grains.

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  • Correct Answer:

The colour of the loaf you buy doesn't necessarily indicate what's in it. Molasses, dark malt, brown sugar or caramel and other ingredients can be added to the flour to change the colour to brown. The truth about bread is on the label, so make sure it says "wholemeal" or "wholegrain" and read the list of ingredients. For true wholegrain bread, the word "whole" should be the first ingredient ahead of the name of the grain – such as whole oats or rye. Loaves that list "multi grain", "stone ground" or "100% wheat" don't always contain wholegrains.

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To keep bread fresher for longer, store it:

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To keep bread fresher for longer, store it:

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  • Correct Answer:

Bread kept in the fridge will go stale much quicker than bread left out on the counter due to the cool temperature. It’s best to keep bread tightly sealed in its original wrapper and store at room temperature. That way it will stay fresh for 2 to 4 days. Fresh baked bread will keep from 1 to 3 days. Crusty bread can go hard in a matter of hours – due to crystallisation of bread starches which causes them to harden. Oven re-warming can partly reverse the process. In warm, humid environments, mould may develop. In that case, you can store bread in the freezer and defrost a few slices at a time. Wrapped bread can keep up to 3 months in the freezer.

Bread can be a major food source of dietary salt

Bread can be a major food source of dietary salt

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Salt is an essential ingredient in breadmaking, helping develop texture and taste. People in the UK already consume far more than the daily recommended 6 grams of salt a day, with a high intake associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure. The good news is that since the 1980s most bakers have reduced the salt content of bread by 27%, with most branded sliced breads now containing just 1g salt per 100g of bread. The UK currently has one of the lowest-salt breads in the world. The UK's “traffic light system” indicates how much salt is in a loaf. If the level is red, the product has a high amount of salt - at more than 1.5g salt per 100g.

White bread is lower in vitamins and iron than wholegrain bread

White bread is lower in vitamins and iron than wholegrain bread

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When wheat grains are milled to make flour for white bread the outer husk is removed, along with some nutrients such as iron and two of our B vitamins – thiamine (B1) and nicotinamide (B3). In the UK these micronutrients are replaced so as not to reduce the nutritional quality of refined flour.This is a legal requirement. In addition, white bread  (but not wholemeal bread or flour) must also contain calcium, added as food fortification since World War II. It isn't necessary for bakers to remind us of this on the food labelling, so the list of ingredients may not mention these useful additives.

Does bread cause bloating?

Does bread cause bloating?

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For a few people the enjoyment of eating bread is followed an hour or two later by uncomfortable bloating. This bloating is harmless and is due to bowel bacteria fermenting foodstuffs, producing gas in the process, but it can produce abdominal discomfort. There are two main components in bread that can cause bloating. First, the fibre content – both roughage fibre found in wholemeal, and soluble fibres found in all breads – can be fermented to cause wind. Secondly, the freezing of bread dough before baking, or storing bread in a freezer after buying, changes some bread starch into another form called 'Resistant Starch 3', or RS3. Our bowel bacteria love RS3 and will happily ferment it. To avoid the bloat, avoid bread from frozen dough (ask your baker), don't freeze bread, and bear in mind your portion size. 60-100g of bread should be fine at a serving, but a 12” sub or large, squashed bread panini, may not.

If you find mould on bread you should:

If you find mould on bread you should:

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  • Correct Answer:

Don't just saw off the green, nasty bits of a mouldy loaf. Throw the whole thing out. The chances are the mould has spread thoroughout the entire loaf and although the blue-grey-green fuzzy mould is the same fungus that can produce penicillin, it's not something you want on your toast. If the bread you’re buying is getting mouldy too soon, consider some sourdough breads which will keep for a week or more because the products of the fermentation process act as natural preservatives.

Which of the following is a health benefit of wholegrain bread?

Which of the following is a health benefit of wholegrain bread?

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According to the British Dietetic Association, evidence is mounting that eating wholegrains regularly as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle may help to reduce the risk of many common diseases. One study by researchers at the University of Kentucky suggests heart disease and type 2 diabetes may be up to 30% less in people who regularly eat wholegrain as part of a low-fat diet and healthy lifestyle. Other studies of fibre from whole grains, such as oats, have been linked with lower blood cholesterol levels and may also play a role in reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

Which bread is best for your blood sugar levels?

Which bread is best for your blood sugar levels?

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Bread contains carbohydrates, which increases your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes or are simply watching your sugar levels, its best to look for coarser, denser breads with a lot of grainy bits. Opt for granary, pumpernickel or rye breads as these have a lower glycaemic index, which means they cause the most gentle rise in blood sugar. Adding fat (as butter or margarine), or serving with a protein food (eg boiled egg, cooked ham, tuna) both delay the rate at which carbohydrates are digested, so helping to lower the glycaemic index further.

What are gluten-free alternatives to wheat bread made from?

What are gluten-free alternatives to wheat bread made from?

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Gluten intolerance is a lifelong condition caused by a reaction to part of wheat protein, called gluten. The condition is termed coeliac disease, and is diagnosed by a blood test or intestinal biopsy whilst the person still has wheat in their diet. Some with coeliac disease may also have an intolerance to proteins similar to gluten found in barley, rye and oats, too. Traditionally in the UK it’s been possible to get your GP to prescribe gluten free foods, but the wide interest in gluten means there is a large range of alternative gluten free breads available in supermarkets now. They include bread made from potato, tapioca or arrowroot, or other types of grain, such as quinoa or rice.

Whole grain bread is a good way to help manage your weight.

Whole grain bread is a good way to help manage your weight.

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  • Correct Answer:

The fibre in wholegrain bread can make you feel fuller for longer, so it can be a great slimming aid if hunger drives your appetite. Fibre is also usually less energy dense, so there are fewer calories in the same measure of food. One study found that women who ate more whole grains and total fibre consistently gained less weight over 12 years than those who ate less fibre and whole grains. But, it doesn't mean you can have as much bread as you'd like – and go easy on the butter or margarine you put on it!

What amount of fibre should a healthy slice of bread have?

What amount of fibre should a healthy slice of bread have?

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  • Correct Answer:

Aim for at least 3 grams of fibre in a healthy slice. Some breads add additional fibre from pea bran, which allows the bread to look white, but contain the same amount of fibre as wholegrain bread. If you’re watching your weight, choose medium sliced breads with around 2 grams of fibre per slice, rather than thick cut breads or ones you slice yourself.

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Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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Whichever way you slice it, you're a bread expert! Congratulations!

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