Ask our Nutritionist
Angie Jefferson

Hello. I’m Angie Jefferson (RD RPHNutr), one of the UK’s leading nutritionists. I have over 25 years’ experience in the National Health Service and commercial sectors.

Many of you have asked me various questions about nutrition and the Burgen range, so I thought I would share my expert advice on some of the common questions I’m often asked. I hope this advice helps answer your particular dietary query.

If you can’t find the answer to your specific question below then you can submit your question using the contact form at the end of this page.

Did You Know

Burgen Soya & Linseed bread has 121mg of calcium in a slice (so just two slices provide 30% of the Reference Intake).

An adequate intake of calcium is required to help keep bones healthy.


I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, what bread should I eat?

The recommended diet for type 2 Diabetes is essentially the same healthy eating diet recommended for the whole population – one that is high in fibre, low in fat and saturated fats, with reduced salt and sugar intakes. Ideally you should look for high fibre bread but this doesn’t necessarily have to be wholemeal; some people like Burgen Soya & Linseed because it is high in fibre and has a lower salt content than some breads, but you need to find out what works for you. Your Practice Nurse or GP should be able to give you some good advice on your diet and you can also ask to be referred to a dietitian for a detailed review of what you are eating.

What is a healthy diet for someone going through the menopause?

While HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is the proven effective way of dealing with symptoms of the menopause, diet and lifestyle can help too. This is the time to look after yourself so make sure you have a balanced diet, are active on most days and get enough sleep. It’s also good to take some time out to relax; we’re all so busy nowadays.

Make sure your diet contains a variety of types of food, including lots of fruit, vegetables and starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, wholemeal or high fibre bread and breakfast cereals; some protein-rich foods such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and pulses; and some lower fat milk and dairy foods.

I am trying to lose weight. What bread should I choose?

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to cut bread out of your diet, but choosing the right one is important. Go for whole grain or higher fibre breads, but do watch the amount of spread and types of toppings and fillings you use as these can all add to the calorie count.

To claim that it is a source of fibre, foods must contain at least 3g of fibre per 100g and to be high in fibre they must have at least 6g of fibre per 100g. The fibre contents for Burgen Soya & Linseed 800g is 9.8g fibre per 100g

For comparison, a typical white bread would have a fibre content of around 2.8g per 100g and a typical wholemeal bread around 7.0g per 100g*

We all know that to lose weight we need to have a balance between reducing how much we eat and increasing the amount of exercise we take. Increasing your fibre intake can help too, so try eating lots of fruit and vegetables (think about making these up to two thirds of your plate), choosing brown rice or pasta (or try a half and half blend with your normal white pasta while you get used to the higher fibre versions), as well as eating high fibre breads and breakfast cereals. As you increase your fibre intake make sure you drink plenty of water as well, to help keep your digestive system working efficiently.

Try to include some physical activity every day such as walking, cycling or swimming, but even gardening and housework can help with burning calories.

For more information, visit Burgen’s healthy living page.

*Reference: McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods Version 7

I have been advised to watch my cholesterol level. Which bread should I choose?

The biggest thing to watch should be the amount of saturated fat in your diet as this can increase your cholesterol levels. Most pre-packed foods are clearly labelled with this information (look at the back of pack nutrition information) and try to choose foods which are low in saturates (less than 1.5g per 100g).

Experts also advise to base meals around high fibre carbohydrate foods such as wholemeal bread, potatoes, brown rice, chapatti, wholemeal pasta or whole grain breakfast cereals.

From the Burgen range, Soya & Linseed (800g) is high in fibre, with 4.3g fibre per slice and it’s also a great source of plant based omega-3 (ALA) oils which can help to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol.

Of course you need to watch the amount and type of spread you use with your bread as these can be high in saturated fat (look for unsaturated or cholesterol lowering options).

For more information about maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol, visit Burgen’s Heart Health page.

Is soya good for you?

Soya is a pulse from the same botanical family as peas, beans and lentils, and is recommended as part of a normal healthy diet. It is especially useful for vegetarians as a source of protein, for men and women alike.

Which foods are good sources of vitamin D?

As you know, vitamin D is essential for the efficient use of calcium by the body. Most vitamins cannot be made by the body, so we have to get them from the foods we eat. But vitamin D is different because the best way to top levels up is to get 10 minutes of sun exposure to your bare skin, once or twice a day (depending on skin type), between the months of May to September, without sunscreen and taking care not to burn.

During autumn and winter, we rely on dietary sources of vitamin D such as oily fish (like salmon, mackerel and sardines), eggs, butter, fortified margarines, fortified cereals and breads. However it is difficult to meet the 10 microgram recommendation from food alone so it is now recommended that we take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D in autumn and winter.

For more information on vitamin D and bone health, visit Burgen’s Bone Health page.

Which foods are good sources of calcium?

As a basic guide, eating around 3 portions of low fat dairy foods a day will provide us with a good calcium intake. A portion includes a glass of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, a standard pot of yogurt or a matchbox sized piece of hard cheese. Non-dairy sources of calcium include calcium-fortified soya drinks, tofu, beans, almonds, sesame seeds, tahini paste, canned salmon and sardines with the bones, green vegetables, bread and even hard water. Two slices of Burgen Soya & Linseed (800g) bread provide 30% of the Reference Intake of calcium.

If you don’t eat dairy foods and are unsure about whether you are getting the right amount of calcium in your diet it’s worthwhile discussing this with your doctor or practice nurse as you may need to take a supplement.

If you wish to know more on calcium and bone health in general visit Burgen’s Bone Health page.

Are any of the Burgen breads yeast free?

Burgen bread is made with yeast, so is unfortunately not suitable for a yeast free diet.

Is Burgen Soya & Linseed bread low in carbohydrate?

There is no official definition of ‘low carbohydrate’ in the UK. Soya & Linseed has 26.9g carbohydrate per 100g (11.8g per slice).

For comparison, most white or wholemeal breads have 36 – 46g carbohydrate per 100g.

Which of the Burgen breads has the lowest GI?

Burgen Soya & Linseed 800g has a GI (Glycaemic Index) rating of 49. The Gluten-Free breads in the range have not been tested as they were not intended to be low GI loaves.

[Based on a scale of 1 to 100, the Glycaemic Index (GI) is simply a ranking of carbohydrate foods according to the rate at which they raise blood glucose levels. The lower the figure, the more slowly a food releases its carbohydrate into the body].

How much salt is in Burgen bread?

Salt is an essential ingredient in bread. As well as contributing to the flavour, the Food Standards Agency has acknowledged that salt plays a key role in controlling yeast fermentation, so we couldn’t make good quality bread without salt.

Salt contents do vary between bread brands and so the best approach is to compare the ‘per 100g’ figure on the back of pack. Foods that are high in salt have more than 1.5g salt per 100g (or 0.6g sodium), while those that are low have 0.3g salt or less per 100g (or 0.1g sodium).

Burgen Soya & Linseed bread has 0.75g salt per 100g [0.33g per slice]

Ask Angie

If your question hasn’t been answered, feel free to contact me directly by asking a question in the box below.

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