Yes, garlic bread made from whole-grain flour or wheat is healthy. That is because it contains key nutrients which reduce the risk of chronic inflammation.
Some of these nutrients include antioxidants, protein, B-vitamins, and minerals. You can also add nutritional ingredients like olives, vegetables, and mushrooms to boost its benefits.
While garlic bread may be an occasional treat for many people, others eat it regularly. However, eating too much of this high-calorie food could cause you to gain weight.
This article explores the health benefits of garlic bread, how to make garlic bread and the risks associated with garlic bread.
What is Garlic Bread?
Garlic bread is a tasty side dish that complements many Italian entrees. It is made using sourdough bread like ciabatta or the popular French baguette and then garnished with olive oil, butter, and garlic.
Garlic bread may also contain additional herbs and spices like chives or oregano and is either baked or grilled until it is toasted.
Other variants of garlic bread exist and typically make use of cheeses like parmesan, feta, cheddar, or mozzarella as toppings. In addition, modern-day restaurants sometimes make use of clarified butter as a substitute for olive oil.
How to Make Garlic Bread
You can make your garlic bread by partially slicing the ciabatta or baguette downward and then allowing the garlic and olive oil to seep into it. Stuff the cuts you make with minced garlic and olive oil before grilling it or putting it in an oven to bake till crisp.
Alternatively, you can make use of garlic powder and butter in place of minced garlic and olive oil. Simply cut the ciabatta or baguette into thick slices, individually brush them with butter, sprinkle your garlic powder, and then bake until crisp.
You can then serve your crisp garlic bread alongside some of your favorite meals.
SEE: Why You Should Never Substitute Garlic Powder For Garlic Salt
What are the Disadvantages of Garlic Bread?
Garlic bread is high in carbohydrates and hence a good source of energy. However, being high on the glycemic index scale, garlic bread is not advisable for people with obesity and diabetes.
Furthermore, garlic bread made using white or refined flour lacks essential nutrients which are lost in the process of making refined flour.
Garlic Bread is Bad for Your Waistline
One of the major reasons that make garlic bread unhealthy is its potential for unwanted weight gain. Garlic bread is high on the glycemic index scale and not an advisable option for people with obesity.
SEE: If Green Tea Works for Weight Loss
Lack of Nutrients
Garlic bread isn’t very nutritious when made from refined white flour – which means that all the nutrients associated with whole-grain flours have been removed from it.
Most people don’t even eat whole wheat or multigrain versions of garlic bread because the refined white flour versions are cheaper and easier to get.
Garlic bread is High in Calories
Garlic bread contains a high amount of calories. It doesn’t take much effort to spike your blood sugar level. Hence, this makes it generally inadvisable for people living with diabetes.
SEE: If Cornbread Is Good for You or Not
It Contains Added Sugar
Garlic bread contains added sugar, which can contribute to weight gain. If you want to avoid added sugars in your diet, commercially made garlic bread isn’t a good option. It’s also hard to know the calorie count in each serving of garlic bread (and it may vary from restaurant to restaurant).
Health Benefits of Garlic Bread
Garlic bread comes with the following health benefits;
High Fiber Diet
When made with whole wheat or whole grain flour, garlic bread is actually one of the healthiest side dishes you can eat. Whole wheat garlic bread contains enough fiber that boosts metabolism and regulates blood sugar levels.
Whole-grain garlic bread also promotes proper digestion and aids regular bowel movements.
SEE: Gluten-Free Flours You Didn’t Know Are Just Good as Wheat Flour
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Garlic, as well as other spices like oregano and basil, have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the body and lower blood pressure. On top of that, garlic contains allicin which helps keep your heart healthy by improving circulation and reducing inflammation.
In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, garlic also has antibacterial properties that help fight off infections such as colds and stomach bugs.
Furthermore, the olive oil used in most garlic bread recipes is unsaturated fats which make them great for cardiovascular health. That is because unsaturated fats as a result of the olive oil help reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of heart diseases.
Are There Healthier Alternatives to Garlic Bread?
Yes, there are healthier alternatives to garlic bread. So you’ve come to the conclusion that garlic bread isn’t the best thing for you.
Well, fear not. You can still have your carbs and eat them too (or at least in moderation). Here are some healthier garlic bread alternatives:
- Low Fat Vegan Garlic Bread
- Garlicky Tortillas
- Low-Calorie Garlic Bread
- Cauliflower Garlic Bread
SEE: Bread vs Cake: Differences, Uses, And Types
How to Enjoy Your Garlic Bread
If you’re wondering how to eat garlic bread, look no further than a simple grilled cheese sandwich. Garlic bread is delicious when paired with any kind of cheese. Just add some slices of provolone or cheddar and cover it in butter (or olive oil).
Then throw it on the grill pan until both sides have golden browned edges. Also, you can use all kinds of cheeses to top your garlic toast: Asiago, feta, gouda, etc.
As I’ve said before, the ideal accompaniment to various Italian dishes is garlic bread. This tasty treat adds flavor and texture that will make any dish even more delectable. Try adding different types of cheeses like mozzarella or Parmesan for extra oomph!
Can you buy garlic bread in stores?
Yes, you can buy your garlic bread from your local grocery stores or you can make it from scratch at home. No matter the method, garlic bread is often brushed with butter, sprinkled with garlic, and baked until crisp.
SEE: If Cinnamon Raisin Bread Is Healthy
Can vegans eat garlic bread?
Yes, garlic bread which is made using garlic and olive oil is vegan-friendly as they do not contain animal products.
However, other variants which make use of butter and/or cheese as substitutes for olive oil should be avoided if you want a vegan-friendly meal.
What dishes can you eat garlic bread with?
You can eat your garlic bread along with popular Italian dishes like spaghetti, lasagna, and linguini. Garlic bread can also be used to eat salads and soups.
SEE: Maggiano’s Happy Hour: Get Italian Dishes For Lesser Prices
Garlic bread is a tasty snack that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. However, it may not be good for your waistline or heart health if you eat it regularly.
Furthermore, there are ways to make garlic bread that’s healthy and nutritious. Many recipes call for butter, but you may want to try using olive oil instead. Also, use fresh garlic and whole-grain bread for extra flavor and fiber.
Finally, do you need healthy bread types you can use in making your garlic bread? Learn more about the different types of bread and how long you can preserve them in a freezer.
I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.