BREAD VS ROTI. Which is an ideal choice?

BREAD VS ROTI. Which is an ideal choice?


Which is an ideal choice?

Roti is the main component of an indian meal which ranks next to rice if food preferences are taken into consideration. As time changes and everyone in the family are employed, time spent in the kitchen to prepare a meal has drastically reduced. People started to replace their home made food with ready to eat foods, one such evolution is preference of bread over roti. Bread has become a major consumed food in India because it is available easily, ready to eat, cost effective, suits for all age and many varieties can be prepared based on individual preferences.But we don’t think about its impact on health when compared to roti.

Bread, in all of its forms, is most widely consumed all over the world. The origin of  bread goes way back to 30,000 years ago in Egypt. Since then it has become a staple food in various households. 

Even though having a slice of bread is more convenient than making a chapathi, there is a huge nutritional difference between the two. Due to their easy availability many of us prefer bread over roti without analysing them from a health perspective.

Why is roti a better choice than bread?

There a various reasons to choose roti over bread, such as

  1. Ingredients 

Typically, bread in Indian market is made with white flour, yeast, sugar and a number of other preservatives. On the other hand, a roti is specifically just the wheat flour, salt, water and oil (optional). The sponginess in the bread is due yeast which is used in its preparation. Yeast is usually termed as “Vitamin Robber” as it hinders the absorption of vitamins in the body. No such added ingredient is required for the preparation of a roti. 

  1. Nutritive Value

Bread is comparatively low in nutrients than roti. The former is high in simple carbohydrates, low in protein, fibre and other vitamins and minerals. Whereas the latter  has higher amounts of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins, and is also rich in complex carbohydrates. Roti has considerable amounts of fibre which gives satiety for a longer period of time when compared to bread. In the process of making bread many nutrients are lost and if it is fortified with certain vitamins and minerals, it may be in its form. But roti preparation is simple and there is no nutrient loss, it can be more nutritious by adding vegetables, seeds, cottage cheese, egg etc as per individual’s choice.

Here is the nutritional information of one slice of bread and one piece of roti

Nutrients Roti Bread
Energy (kcal) 104 79.9
Protein (g) 2.6 2
Total Fat (g) 3.68 1.5
Saturated Fat (g) 1.32 0
Cholesterol (mg) 0 10.1
Carbohydrates (g) 15.7 16
Fiber (g) 3.01 1
Sugars (g) 1.17 2
Sodium (mg) 4.3 135
Potassium (mg) 68.2 34.5
Iron (mg) 1.1 0.1
  1. Preservatives

Various oils, chemicals, preservatives and emulsifiers are added to the bread to increase the shelf life for  5-6 days. Roti does not contain any added preservatives, oils or chemicals. And can be made fresh whenever required. 

  1. Health Impact 

Softness and fluffiness in the bread is due to the addition of yeast, which may affect the digestive health, and also bread has a high glycemic index. Prolonged consumption of high glycemic index foods may lead to development of obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. But roti does not have any health impact. 

  1. Gluten Allergy

Bread cannot be consumed by individuals with gluten allergy as it is made of wheat, if consumed it may worsen the health whereas roti can be made from different flours such as jowar, ragi, bajra etc which can be consumed by all.

  1. Salt and Sugar Content

The added salt and sugar in the bread is high and the quantity cannot be altered, whereas addition of salt or sugar depends on the individual taste either you can add in a limited quantity or avoid it. Since bread contains a high amount of salt and sugar it is not suitable for people with health complications. 

Therefore, the bottom line is no matter how difficult it seems to cook a roti, but it always is a healthier, cost effective, homemade and fresh alternative over bread. It’s time to get back to our traditional food practices and replace bread with roti, for a healthy family and nation.

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