Energy is provided by the foods and drinks that we consume. Food and drinks contain different amounts of energy based on the levels of fat, protein, carbohydrate and alcohol present.

To achieve energy balance and hence maintain a healthy body weight, it is necessary to only eat as much energy as you can exert. If you take in more energy than your body can use then you will gain weight as body fat. This will occur whether the excess energy eaten is from foods rich in carbohydrate, fat or protein.

Some examples of actions you can take to achieve energy balance are:

  • Take part in at least 30 minutes of moderately intensive physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week, for example walking, gardening or cycling.
  • Reduce dietary energy intake but don’t remove those foods from the diet that contribute important nutrients (vegetables and fruits, wholegrain breads and cereals, milk and milk products, eggs, meats and legumes).
  • Reduce or limit the intake of foods high in energy but low in nutrients, such as ‘junk foods’ (chips and sweets) and fast foods.

Some consumers perceive bread to be fattening. Bread is actually quite bulky, so it takes longer to digest, leaving you feeling fuller for longer. The energy content of a slice of bread varies depending on the type of bread, but the energy content of supermarket bread is approximately 900-1100 kJ/100g.

This energy intake is actually a lot lower than other foods that you might snack on, for example, potato chips (approximately 2180 kJ/100g) or snack bars (1600 kJ).

Bread is an excellent source of protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins (Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Niacin) and minerals (calcium, iron). Due to this it is best to limit other foods (i.e. high-fat or sugary foods) from the diet before limiting bread.