Yes, whole grain Ciabatta bread is very healthy as it contains fiber and calcium which not only promotes bone health but also prevents type 2 diabetes while aiding proper digestion.
Created by Italian bakers as a means to rival the French bread (baguette), the ciabatta bread is made from whole grain flour which is rich in fiber and provides other useful health benefits.
This article examines the nutritional values and health benefits of Ciabatta bread and if it is truly a healthy option for you.
What is Ciabatta Bread?
Created by a baker in 1982, in Veneto, Italy, Ciabatta Bread is an Italian white bread made using wheat flour, salt, olive oil, water, and yeast as a leavening agent.
Additionally, the Ciabatta was believed to be created in response to popular French bread commonly known as baguettes.
The bread has a broad, elongated, and flat appearance, and also exists in numerous baked variations. However, one aspect of the Ciabatta that is unique is the alveolar holes that it possesses.
That is because ciabatta bread makes use of a wetter dough and stronger flour unlike baguettes or traditional French bread.
What are the Ingredients Used in Making Ciabatta Bread?
The main ingredients of the ciabatta bread include whole wheat flour or wheat flour, salt, yeast, olive oil, and water.
Other variations of the ciabatta bread use a biga (pre-fermentation agent) or sourdough starter.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Ciabatta Bread?
Ciabatta bread’s nutritional values consist of sodium, fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Additionally, ciabatta’s nutritional info can be broken down into the following categories;
- Carbohydrates: 29g
- Protein: 5g
- Calories: 260cal
- Fat: 0.5g
- Sodium: 320mg
- Fiber: 1g
Vitamins and Minerals
You will find about 320 mg of sodium in a loaf of ciabatta bread. This is much lower than the maximum sodium intake amount of 2,300 milligrams. Furthermore, ciabatta also contains about 10.3mg of calcium and about 40g of potassium which helps electrolyte balance.
A complete loaf of ciabatta bread contains about 260 calories and also offers about 10g of protein, 40g of carbohydrates, and about 6g of fat.
The protein count in the ciabatta bread is rather low with a minor count of 5g per loaf. Also, note that about 15% of the calories offered by the ciabatta bread come from its protein value.
What are the Health Benefits of Ciabatta Bread?
You can get the following health benefits when you eat ciabatta bread;
Ciabatta May Reduce the Risk of Crohn’s Disease
Studies have found that long-term consumption of foods rich in fiber like ciabatta bread may lower the risk of an inflammatory bowel disease also known as Crohn’s disease.
Additionally, people who limited their fiber intake were more prone to Crohn’s disease, while people with fiber-rich diets experienced lesser inflammatory bowel disease.
It Promotes Cardiovascular Health
A fiber-rich diet can drastically reduce the possibility of suffering from a stroke or cardiovascular condition.
Daily consumption of about 30g of whole grain fiber meals like ciabatta bread causes a significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein and your body’s total serum cholesterol.
Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Ciabatta bread can reduce the risk of high blood sugar and prevent type 2 diabetes.
The high fiber content present in ciabatta whole grain bread can slow the conversion of starch into glucose. By doing this, blood sugar levels do not experience spikes but rather stay balanced.
Also, earlier studies have shown that 30% of people who eat an average of 3 servings of whole-grain meals per day were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. In contrast, those who consumed fewer whole-grain meals or rarely ate them had a higher risk of diabetes.
Furthermore, the risk of having type 2 diabetes may reduce by about 21% if you eat two extra servings of whole-grain foods daily.
Ciabatta Promotes Proper Weight Management
Ciabatta bread which is made with whole wheat flour supplies about 4% of the fiber amount recommended daily. This in turn can help you manage your weight as fiber-rich foods take a longer time to chew and digest.
They also keep you satisfied for longer and reduce your level of hunger thereby limiting or reducing your appetite to take in more food.
To enjoy the weight management property of the ciabatta bread, try to consume it with other fiber-rich meals. Eat meals that contain about 30 to 38g of fiber each day for a man, and about 20 to 25g of fiber daily for a woman.
Can Diabetics Eat Ciabatta Bread?
Yes, diabetics can eat ciabatta bread due to its high fiber content and no sugar in its ingredients. However, you should eat them in moderation as it is quite high in carbs. Eating excessive amounts of ciabatta bread can result in a spike in blood sugar levels.
Is Ciabatta Bread Gluten-free?
No, ciabatta bread is not gluten-free or gluten-friendly as it uses a soft, wet dough made from strong high gluten flour.
What Allergies are Associated With Ciabatta Bread?
Gluten Intolerance or wheat allergy is the major allergy associated with ciabatta bread as a result of its high-gluten whole wheat flour.
Gluten intolerance or allergy to wheat can lead to a drop in blood pressure, runny nose, eczema, lightheadedness, swelling of the lips or tongue, and nasty stomach cramps.
You can also experience diarrhea, severe gastrointestinal distress, and itching. If you suspect that you have a sensitivity to gluten or a wheat allergy, consult a nutritionist on suitable high-fiber alternatives that do not contain wheat or gluten.
Can you toast ciabatta bread?
Yes, you can conveniently use ciabatta bread to make toast among other classic breakfast choices.
What can you eat with ciabatta bread?
You can use your ciabatta bread to make sandwiches, as a side for soups, and it also goes great with saucy pasta dishes.
You can also eat ciabatta bread with sauteed or fresh vegetables, bacon and eggs, or eggs and sausage links.
Is ciabatta bread vegan friendly?
Yes, ciabatta bread is vegan friendly as its ingredients do not contain animal products like egg, cheese, milk, or butter.
Does the ciabatta bread contain eggs?
No ciabatta does not contain eggs and is typically among the few healthy loaves of bread that do not use eggs.
Other types of bread that do not use eggs in their baking process include; rye bread, potato bread, sourdough bread, pumpernickel bread, whole wheat bread, French bread, and white bread, among others.
Ciabatta bread is as basic as most traditional bread with its only special ingredients being whole wheat flour and olive oil.
Compared to your average traditional bread, the ciabatta bread contains more nutrients and fiber and is great for diabetics and hypertensive patients.
Additionally, you can purchase the healthy bread choice in numerous grocery stores, bakeries, and sandwich shops across the globe (including France). However, you should note that not all ciabatta bread uses whole wheat flour. Therefore, you should always check the label.
Finally, with the only disadvantage of the ciabatta bread being its high gluten content and the use of wheat flour, the bread is relatively healthy unless you’re allergic. See the list of gluten-free foods and whole grains that can serve as substitutes.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.