By Lucy Yanckello, Ph.D.
The choice to have a piece of bread toasted or untoasted usually comes down to what taste and texture you desire. Toasting bread is a chemical reaction, meaning that some of the molecules (carbohydrates) break apart and the water content is reduced. Due to this chemical reaction, toasting bread might be associated with potential health benefits and could also make bread more easily digestible.
Is toast better for you than bread? Is it healthier to eat toast rather than bread?
Toast has been shown to have a lower glycemic index than bread that is untoasted. The glycemic index of food is a measure of how a food impacts blood sugar – the higher the number the higher blood sugar will spike after eating that food. Although the difference isn’t huge, toast has fewer carbohydrates than bread due to the chemical reaction that occurs.
On the other hand, if bread is toasted until it is burnt, a potentially carcinogenic compound called acrylamide can form. This compound can cause health problems if eaten too often, so if you burn your toast, throw it out and make a new slice.
Is toast better for your stomach than bread? Why is toast better than bread for diarrhea? Why should you eat toast when you are sick?
Because the water content of bread is reduced by toasting it, toasted bread adds bulk to your stool. This causes digestion to slow down. Toast is a main component of the BRAT (banana, rice, apple sauce, toast) diet that helps slow down digestion and fight diarrhea through bulking your stool.
Does toast have different nutritional value than bread?
Although the chemical reaction when toasting bread does break down carbohydrates and reduce the water content of bread, the nutritional value of toast does not differ significantly from bread. However, the scope of nutritional value does change depending on how toasted the piece of bread gets. If a slice of bread is lightly to moderately toasted – the way most people eat toast – the changes in nutritional value are insignificant. However, if bread is burnt in the toaster, the change in calories may be noteworthy – but the toast will also be inedible.
It is important to note that most studies on the nutritional value of bread vs. toast are conducted in white bread.
Is toast with peanut butter healthy? Is toast with butter healthy?
Because toast is mainly carbohydrate based, and peanut butter has fat and protein, toast with peanut butter creates a healthy balance of nutrients. The health benefits will multiply if whole-grain toast is used, as this will also give you a dose of fiber which, along with protein, helps keep you fuller for longer periods of time. If you are going to top your toast with just butter – which only consists of fats – be sure to make it a slice of whole-grain bread too. Butter doesn't have protein like its counterpart peanut butter, but the fiber in the whole-grain bread will give you the same benefits no matter what it’s topped with.
Is toasted bread healthy for diabetics? Is toast better than bread for diabetics?
Toast has been shown to have a lower glycemic index than bread that is untoasted. Although the difference isn’t huge, toast has fewer carbohydrates than bread due to the chemical reaction that occurs. Diabetics should opt for lower glycemic index foods when possible – it is important for diabetics to understand how food will impact their blood sugar in order to keep the condition under control.
Is toasted bread good for weight loss? Is toast better than bread for weight loss?
Toast is likely slightly better for weight loss than bread. There are numerous studies that show the association between a lack of blood sugar control and weight gain. Because toast has a lower glycemic index it could play a role in assisting with better blood sugar control and ultimately weight loss.
Where can I buy the best fresh bread online?
At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh baked goods that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for breads, pastries, and fresh pastas. Some of our popular breads include sourdough whole wheat loaf, and everything sourdough bread. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods.
About the Author
Lucy Yanckello received her Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She currently works as a medical writer and enjoys being able to help people better understand nutrition and science.
This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.