Healthy Aldi bread nutritionists rave about
IT'S rare to find a really great, healthy product in a supermarket that makes even nutritionists happy.
But every so often it does happen - and such a good product deserves a mention.
This time it is the Baker's Life 85 per cent Lower Carb bread sold at Aldi. Not only does this bread taste great, but the nutrition information is so strong it is hard to find fault with the lower-carb product which is quickly going mainstream.
Now I am by no means a bread or carb hater, rather I have always recommended nutritionally rich, carb-controlled breads such as Burgen Soy Lin or Helga's Lower Carb breads that combine a reduced carbohydrate load with all the wholegrain and fibre benefits found in a dense-grain bread.
A couple of slices of carb-controlled bread will give between 20-24g of carbs, 5-6g of dietary fibre and 8-12g of protein plus all the benefits of wholegrains and seeds.
So how does this compare to the Aldi Higher Protein loaf? Two slices of this reduced carb bread offers a massive 23.6g of protein, 10.7g of fibre and just 5g of carbs.
This unique profile has been achieved by blending wheat, soy and lupin proteins which gives the mouthfeel of bread, minus the heavy load of wheat flour found in regular bread. The addition of bucketloads of seeds means you end up with a higher-fat (12.8g compared to 6.5g in Burgen Soy Lin) and higher-protein loaf.
Now this is not to say that low-carb foods are the best choice for everyone. While those who favour a 'keto' or LCHF dietary approach may seek out low-carb foods and generally stay away from carbohydrate-rich staples such as bread and pasta at all costs, there is nothing wrong with a diet that contains controlled amounts of good quality carbohydrates.
The issue when it comes to carbs for many of us is not the small slices of wholegrain bread but all the biscuits, cakes, slabs of white bread and refined white flour that occupy a far greater proportion of our daily diets than they should - in this case it is not a problem with bread per say, but the way we choose to eat it.
The other key aspect that makes this product so strong nutritionally is that while it is higher in fat than most other varieties of bread, as the fat is coming from wholegrains and seeds or linseeds and sunflower seeds in this loaf you end up with a food that is exceptionally high in the long chain polyunsaturated fats - the type of fat linked to a number of health benefits and the type of fat that few Australians get enough of.
While all soy and linseed loaves offer this benefit, the amount of these fats in this loaf are double what we generally find in other supermarket breads.
The bread slices of the loaf are small and dense and the abundance of seeds mean that you are fighting to actually find the soft bread among the seeds and grains. While this makes a lower-carb loaf not as great for sandwiches, it makes it great as toast as it crunches up like a cracker and is absolutely delicious spread with nut spread or avocado.
So who is this lower-carb, higher-protein loaf suited to? The high protein and fibre content mean that this bread is a good choice for anyone watching their weight but who still want to enjoy a few slices of bread each day.
The other benefit of a bread that is much lower in refined flour than regular bread is that it is exceptionally filling, and with a very low GI is likely to keep you full for several hours after eating it. On the other hand, for those who are sensitive to seeds and grains, this bread is unlikely to suit and it is also likely to be a little heavy for children, especially children under the age of three or four.
Food technologists continue to develop new foods that respond to customer demand. A general shift towards lower-carb eating in a society where movement is scarce and weight gain is common means that the more foods we can readily find in supermarkets that support weight control the better - and in this case, Aldi, you have done good.
*The author is a nutritionist and has no affiliation with Aldi and was told about this product by her clients.