Whole grain bread has many health benefits over white bread. But did you know that rye bread scores even better than whole meal bread on many points? An overview:
1. Rye bread has fewer carbohydrates
Dark rye bread contains less carbohydrate than whole grain bread. Good to know for people with diabetes, but also for those who like to watch the pounds. Carbohydrates increase your blood sugar. Therefore, food products with more fiber are always a better choice (for example, whole grain bread instead of white bread), because fiber causes the carbohydrates (sugars) to be absorbed more slowly into your blood. In addition to the fact that this is calmer for your pancreas – which has to produce insulin in order to absorb the sugars in your cells – it keeps you ‘full’ for longer and makes it easier to maintain your weight.
2. More dietary fiber
In that respect, you kill two birds with one stone with rye bread. Because besides the fact that it contains less carbohydrates, it also contains more dietary fiber than whole meal bread! With one hundred grams of rye bread you get 8.3 grams of fiber. With a hundred grams of fine whole meal bread, that’s 6.6 grams, to be precise. Nice bonus. Dietary fiber helps your bowel movements, ensures that you are full for longer and helps to lower your cholesterol.
3. Lower glycemic index
And because fewer carbohydrates and more fiber in it, rye bread also has a lower g lycemische index (GI) than ordinary whole meal bread. The lower the GI of a food product, the less quickly your blood sugar level will rise. According to a table from the Diabetes Fund, the glycemic index of rye bread is 50 and that of whole meal bread is 74. If you know that a GI higher than 70 is already considered ‘high’, and a GI lower than 55 is considered ‘low’, then rye bread comes out best in the test.
4. Twice the Vitamin B6
Rye bread also contains more than twice as much vitamin B6 as whole meal bread (measured per 100 grams), a vitamin that especially the elderly in the Netherlands risk a shortage of. Vitamin B6 is important for your resistance and good digestion.
5. Rye bread contains more iron
In addition, rye bread contains more iron than whole meal bread, which is important for your energy supply, among other things. Vitamin C ensures that you can easily absorb this iron in your body. Do you eat this bread to increase your iron content? Eat fruit or vegetables with it, or have a glass of fruit juice.
6. And more potassium
We are still cheering on rye bread, because did you know that it also contains more potassium? Rye flour even contains twice as much potassium as whole meal wheat flour, as we read in the Dutch Nutrient Database (NEVO) of the RIVM. Good to know if you want to bake your own bread! Potassium is important for a good fluid balance in your body, but it also has a beneficial effect on your blood pressure. This is because potassium counteracts the blood pressure increasing effect of sodium (in salt). In addition, the mineral is indispensable for a properly functioning nervous system and strong muscles.
7. Rye bread contains vitamin E.
Vitamin E plays a role in the production of red blood cells and keeps your muscle and other tissues healthy. It is also important for good resistance. Rye bread contains more vitamin E than whole meal bread.
But less selenium and magnesium.
But there are also a number of nutrients that rye bread has slightly less of than whole meal bread. So it contains less selenium and magnesium. You also get more folic acid and iodine from a whole grain sandwich than from rye bread. The latter does not apply to rye flour. This flour contains twice as much iodine and folic acid than whole wheat flour, according to NEVO. The reason that there is more iodine in whole meal bread is because a little more (iodized) salt is added to it. Presumably less folic acid is also lost during the baking process of whole meal bread.
… And sometimes more sugar
Be sure to read the label carefully before buying any rye bread. Some brands of Frisian rye bread contain added sugar, which (partly) negates a number of health benefits. No extra sugar is usually added to Brabantine or Limburg rye bread. This bread is naturally less sweet and less moist. Because sourdough has been used as a leavening agent (instead of yeast), this rye bread also tastes a bit sour, and you should like that.
In short: nice variety!
Our conclusion: eat rye bread more often, but do not delete the whole grain slices from your menu and choose spelled bread, for example. This way you get all the important vitamins and minerals!