What is the Best Time of the Day to Consume Bread?

Each meal has its nutritional necessities and the good news is that you can eat bread at any time of the day!

At breakfast we need to stock our bodies with the fuel it requires for our daily activities. School-age children, office workers, and sportspersons should pay particular attention to consuming adequate amounts of carbohydrates in the morning.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, carbohydrates should make up between 45% and 65% of your total daily calories because they are vital to every single cell of the organism![1]

Carbohydrates present in whole grains and bread provide available energy for the brain and allow individuals to enhance cognitive functions such as attention and memory, whether in the classroom or at the workplace. Studies show that having a proper breakfast actually improves behavioral performance, allowing individuals to find creative solutions, collaborate with each other, and be willing to learn.[2]

Carbohydrates are also essential to replenish the energy used by the muscles during exercise, thus you can include bread before and after your morning workouts.

Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day. Bread ideas for your mornings include classic French toast, quick poached eggs with bread soldiers, chic croque madame, and a simple cheese toastie.

Lunch gives us a chance to recharge for the second part of the day and avoid a dip of energy in the middle of the afternoon. Complex carbohydrates in whole grains and wholemeal bread stimulate a slow-release of glucose into the blood stream, preventing blood sugar spikes throughout the afternoon.

Teenagers for example need a boost of vitality and nutrients for their changing bodies and their after-school activities. Calcium-fortified white bread promotes bone health and regulates muscle contraction, essential during the teenage years.[3]

 The best healthy packed-lunch idea to avoid moody teens is a well-balanced sandwich. There are plenty of bread types to choose from. Make sure to include quality protein inside as the filling and an extra portion of fruit and vegetables to accompany the sandwich. Excellent protein options include boiled eggs, turkey breast, cottage cheese, oven-baked ham, and sardines (for an extra punch of calcium!). Humus and nut-butters are great vegan options too.

According to Aryurveda, it is best to have an early supper to allow the body to fully digest and detox during the night.[4] Including high-fiber bread in your dinner plate encourages optimum bowel movements and will make you feel lighter as you go to bed. Breads rich in dietary fiber also lower your risk of diabetes, obesity, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and gastrointestinal conditions.[5]

Finally, a study published in Obesity and Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases Journalfound that concentrating the majority of carbohydrates into the evening meal reduces the sense of hunger, improving the chances for weight loss.[6] That dispels the myth of eating carbohydrates in the evening will make you gain weight.
In conclusion, feel free to enjoy your favorite bread at any time of the day!!

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/carbohydrates/art-20045705?pg=2
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737458/
[3] http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Calcium.aspx
[4] https://lifespa.com/eat-late-gain-weight/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335713
[6] Sofer et al: Changes in daily leptin, ghrelin and adiponectin profiles following a diet with carbohydrates eaten at dinner in obese subjects, Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovasc Disease Journal, 2013.