Is toast healthy? If you've ever wondered, "is toasted bread healthy?" or, "is toast healthier than bread?" this article is for you. (Spoiler alert: the answer may surprise you!)
Wait - is bread healthy?!
As a registered dietitian nutritionist, we need to touch first on carbs -- including bread.
There is a LOT of misinformation about carbs, thanks to the many multi-billion dollar diet industry. But here's the thing: carbs are good!
Carbohydrates are simply one of three macronutrients (along with fat and protein) that provides energy and other nutrients (like fiber!) essential to your body's daily functions. Including carbs in your diet is absolutely part of a healthy, balanced diet.
And this includes bread!
A truly healthy, balanced lifestyle is one where you can eat in a way that nourishes your body to feel your best physically, but mentally you have a great relationship with food and know you can eat all of your favorite foods - including bread (and toast).
Bonus? There are plenty of nutrient-dense bread options, too, like whole wheat and other whole grain beads.
Is Toast Healthy?
So, is toast healthy? Toast is just a type of carbohydrate that can be consumed as part of any balanced, healthy diet. Furthermore, toasting a type of bread that is higher in whole grains will make it more nutrient-dense, adding more fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
That said, there's actually a small amount of research that has shown additional minor nutrition benefits to consuming toast over bread!
Bread vs Toast
There has been some research into bread making technology, and how different preparations affect blood sugar.
One study looked at the glycemic response of bread with different preparations, including toasting from fresh bread and toasting from freezing and then defrosting. They found that in both preparations, toasting bread resulted in lower blood glucose values.
But at the same time, consuming toast (especially darker toast) can lead to higher exposure to acrylamide. Acrylamide is something that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all classify as a likely human carcinogen.
It's important to remember what the American Cancer Society says, and that's that most of the conclusions of the above agencies are based on rodent and animal studies - and humans are quite different. Additionally, you can remember the saying "the dose makes the poison." So while acrylamide may be carcinogenic, the amount of toast you'd have to consume for it to be an issue is likely significant.
All in all? Looking at the actual science of toast vs. bread, it's kind of a wash if toast is healthier or not. There are some aspects that may be insignificantly more and less healthful. All-in-all? It's kind of a wash.
If you like toast, there is nothing wrong with enjoying it as part of an overall healthy, balanced diet.