Health bread is a bread, typically containing whole grains, marketed as particularly healthy and, in some cases, as capable of addressing or accommodating certain health conditions. As many governments typically do not restrict the use of the term health bread or actually define it, a variety of breads with very different recipes may be marketed as healthy bread. In many cases, however, breads marketed in this way are often high in fiber or protein and may be lower in calories than some commercial breads.
Bread is a staple in the diets of many people. It is used in a variety of recipes to prepare sandwiches and is also eaten on its own. Some have questioned its value as a foodstuff, particularly when the bread is made from refined white flour. In addition, some weight-loss diets, such as a low-carbohydrate diet, are incompatible with the consumption of regular breads. Some people have dietary allergies and sensitivities that make bread consumption inadvisable. In response to these concerns, some bread companies and bakeries market health bread that is formulated without allergens or carbohydrates or as a more nutritionally dense product.
Perhaps the most familiar types of health breads are those known as whole wheat or multigrain in the United States or wholemeal in the United Kingdom. These breads are typically made from one or more grains that have not been subject to refining. It is also important to know that just as the term health bread is not always regulated by government agencies, terms like whole wheat may not be regulated either. As such, consumers have a responsibility to read product labels to determine the process for making the flour used in the bread. Many people believe that breads made from whole grains, as opposed to refined flour, are more nutritious and offer health benefits over white bread.
Some types of health bread are prepared with grains, nuts, and legumes that are higher in protein than traditional flours. These breads may also be high in fiber, which many people believe has health benefits. Breads that are prepared in this way may also be marketed as diet breads, suitable for those on low-carbohydrate or high-fiber diets. In some cases, breads may be made from grains other than wheat to eliminate gluten, to which some people are sensitive or allergic, enabling these individuals to enjoy bread on a regular basis.